What’s Next?

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The past is seeping into my thoughts. It happened long time ago. Drawn to the memories like a bee attracted to a flower. The bee couldn’t help it. Who is she? Only a monk can answer that. She lived with the monks … Continue reading

Love is a complicated matter

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Recently I saw a photo that made me recall bits and pieces of my childhood years. From this memory, I remember a poem I kept about love that a child does not understand. The Memory: I couldn’t help it but … Continue reading

Re-run

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I love watching this movie over and over again.  It is such a pleasure to listen to her songs and I sing along with her.  I used to feel guilty because speaking French with Filipino accent just doesn’t cut it.  Now with the wrap music going on, it really doesn’t matter how I sing as long as it’s the song from La Vie en Rose.

Pretty soon I will be able to speak french.  Oui?  Merci.

Abandoned ancient city – Pergamum

This is part of what’s left of an ancient city of Pergamum in a modern-day Turkey.  It was also a well-known center for the arts. The theatre was originally built during the 3rd century BC, modified by the Romans. The theater has 80 rows of seats, divided into three sections, with a seating capacity of about 10,000 persons.  It has a very good acoustic sound system.  When I was at the bottom, I could literally hear what my group was talking at the top.abandoned Pergamon Theatre (1)Pergamum is one of the “seven churches of Asia” in the Bible as written by Apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘I know your works, and where you dwell… where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to my name, and did not deny my faith even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.'” Revelation 2:12

The two trees in the picture are where the “Throne of Satan” was built before. The throne was excavated, relocated, and reconstructed in Berlin.
abandoned Pergamon Theatre (2)

Turkey is literally filed with abandoned ancient relics.  Even in the city, we found a sarcophagus used as a beautiful “settee” for these young girls.

Three friends

The area that I work is an artsy place from paintings, photography and sculptures.  One particular artwork is very interesting and is in full display at a street corner.  Surprisingly enough, the sculpture has maintained its integrity.  It’s about the love for three different animals: a horse, a monkey and a dog.

These are the friends of Emily Carr and she loved her animals.

Friends of Emily Carr

Friends of Emily Carr

“I sat self-contained with dogs, monkey and work; writing into the long dark evenings after painting and loving everything terrifically. In later years my work had some praise and some successes but the outstanding event to me was the doing which I am still at. Don’t pickle me away as done.”

Priceless Treasures

Look into my eyes.  You are falling deeply in love with me.  Look into my eyes.
valentine lookI am perfect to fall in love with.  We are meant for each other, forever!  You are mine!  You cannot resist me for you are just totally in love with my soft fuzzy adorable body.  Feel me, touch me and love me.  You will do as I say.
valentine kyle

The Grade 1 and 2 students at VSB made their own “Splat” with black paint and chalk pastels.  Using toothpicks they gently dragged the wet paint away from Splat’s body to create his fuzzy fur.  Heart shaped doilies were added for a finish touch with “artist’s” name written on it.

With lots and lots of love and fur balls, Happy Valentines, Love from a colony of  Splats.
valentine Gr 1 and 2Working for the school board, the children are the treasure in my line of work.  One cannot help but fall in love with them especially when they come to show and tell what they learnt at school to our offices.  They are priceless.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Buttercup
Do not ask your children

to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself. 

By William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

Thank you, David Lose.

Second post: Card version

The object of raising the roof

There are a couple of bus boards that caught my attention in the lower mainland.  Simple photographs of men before; as a child, and now: as an adult.

Blake and Dave as children grew up from normal childhood with normal lives.  Happy as can they be.

These ads attracted a lot of attention.  I could see people standing and looking at them for the longest time.  I wonder what were they thinking and what emotions do the pictures evoke from them.

These are their photos as an adult.

It is difficult for me to be objective looking at these subjects.  Humans are not subjects nor objects.  These simple photos brought out the big question: “what happened?”  Good question.

Bus boards captions:
Now you know where homeless adults came from ~ Blake
People from normal childhoods with normal lives don’t  end up homeless. ~ Dave disagrees.

This photo campaign is from Raising the Roof that provides objective facts about what and who are the homeless.  Reading about it gave me a better understanding of the goal of the photo campaign. Blake and Dave are no longer strangers to me.

Bus boards photo credits: Raising the Roof

Possibility of amusing juxtaposition

Charles Dickens uses the technique of juxtaposition in the opening line of his novel “A Tales of Two Cities”:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”

Unlike Charles, I will be using mostly humans to compare them with something and this brain will see the far side of life.

The Egyptians had grandiose idea of building spectacular pyramids.  I envisioned that they are gigantic in order to create such monumental edifice.
Pyramid Stone

Have bag will travel the Camino Way.  This lady definitely will fit into this bag.
camino back pack

There was the bear necessities exposition in France below the Eiffel Tower.  These are Canadian Bears.  Can you tell which the live one is?
the bears

Blue Moon and the Rising Sun.  Partial eclipse.
sun and moon

Dying, dying, dead trees at the Dead Sea.  I get it, nothing grows here.
Dead sea

Just for fun, I am throwing in the jester position.
jester

Proverbial Family

We are born in a family that we did not ask for, and we can’t trade them for another.  Families are complicated, and they are the most important thing in the world.  The relationship we have for our family may be filled with love or skeleton in the closets.   And if we can’t get rid of the skeleton, we might as well make them dance.

Family entertainment at the park

Family entertainment at the park

“To understand your parents’ love, you must raise children yourself.”– Chinese proverb

Family Summer Camp

Family Summer Camp

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”– Jane Howard

Family shell seekers on the beach

Family shell seekers on the beach

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”– Albert Einstein

Family travelling by bike along the Camino de Santiago

Family traveling by bike along the Camino de Santiago

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”– Mother Teresa

Family visits the grave of their Mother

Family visit the grave of their Mother

“Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.”– Reinhold Niebuhr

Quotes source: Keep Inspiring Me.

Window Gazers

Looking onto the window is one of my favorite pastimes when I am out for a walk; I am a window gazer not as a peeping tom but curious who will look out.  There are many windows of different shapes and sizes, with blinds or drapes, plain or with iron grills.  I often wonder if looking at a window, I can see a different world and a whole meaning will come without searching for it.

A hand on a window points me to a direction that life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting.  It even considers me a friend.
window 1

A store window Victoria’s Secret does not leave so much to my imagination. It is rather revealing, there’s no secret here at all.
window 3

A walk along the neighborhood, there is one particular window that I find appealing even with the blind down.  It has a figurine of a blue cat.
window 9

One day, the blue cat disappeared, and a  strange-looking figurine took its place.  As it turned out when I went closer to the window, it’s a hairless cat and very much alive.
window 11

This window is fascinating for it changes continuously.  I am beginning to think that the tenant is looking at me looking at the window.  I’ve seen a person inside once before.

On a different day, the blue cat has a company, another beautiful cat with short fur and a long whisker.  What happened to that hairless one?  Maybe the bald cat is not allowed to catch the sunshine, or else it might get more wrinkles for lack of protection.
window 8

For most days, only the blue cat is on the window.  I am beginning to miss not seeing the cats.  Mind you, more cats are gazing out in the neighborhood to entertain me than people looking out of the window. When I look at humans looking out of the windows, most of them are elderly.

The cats did finally showed up one day, all three of them.
window 5

Sometimes, I ponder on the existence of the cats as a companion for humans.  I am not looking for any answers except for this one.  I wonder how much this doggy in the window at the pet store?
window 2

Threshold between Earth and Heaven

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I know for a while again the health of self-forgetfulness, looking out at the sky through a notch in the valleyside, the black woods wintry on the hills, small clouds at sunset passing across. And I know that this is … Continue reading

A taste of e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Source:  David Lose

Receive the Joy, Queimada!

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The night before we entered the Holy Site of Santiago De Compostela, we needed to be purified in order to be worthy and receive the joy of entering the Cathedral.  Little did I know, our fearless driver, Pablo, is a … Continue reading

When does charity become a business

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Haya, Pete.  Of course, I like you.  You know very well I welcome your thoughts and I enjoy publishing your comments.  I love hearing what you have to say about Science or Conscience on donating. Thank you. You are not going … Continue reading

Science or conScience: On Donating

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Money cannot buy happiness but how you spend it differently will make you feel better and happier. Michael Norton experimented on making people spend money on others rather than on themselves and measure their happiness as shown at TED.  Michael went … Continue reading

Cooking Turkey: Call 1-800-Turkey

HuntMode posted an article about “Worried re Your First Turkey Ever? made me think it’s time to cook turkey and there is a turkey in my freezer.

A turkey sat in the freezer with a due date Jan 2, 2013.  Brand name: “Butterball”. That is almost a year!  I need a wing and prayer how to cook a turkey.  Never cooked a turkey before and ambition took a hold of me to learn how to cook one item a year.  Turkey it is.

My family loves to cook turkey all year round.  One look at turkey makes me gag and the only thing that I eat from a fresh-baked turkey is the Pope’s nose. My fondness for turkey is the carcass only to make turkey soup.

Butterball turkey

Back to frozen turkey.  Butterball is a good brand, so they say.  As it turned out, this company has a 1-800 talk-line for people having turkey trouble.  Being a turkey that I am, I did not call the help line instead sent them an e-mail message asking whether it’s safe to cook a turkey pass due date.  And I did receive a response!

Thank you for contacting the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line!
Solidly frozen Butterball turkeys do not spoil in the freezer. However, eating quality will diminish over time. For maximum eating quality we recommend using frozen Butterball® turkeys, which have been stored in home freezers at zero degrees F or below in original wrapper, within six to seven months. Butterball turkeys held up to two years in home freezers from date of processing are still of good quality and safe to eat.
After two years home freezer storage eating quality will likely be less, not a safety problem. Suggest using the cooked turkey meat for making casseroles or soup. Also, while stored in the freezer, any tears in the plastic wrapper will expose the turkey to air and lead to freezer burn (light-colored and dry-looking areas on the surface) and accelerate flavor deterioration. Although safe to eat, these exposed areas may be dry or tough after roasting.

So folks, if you want to talk turkey, contact turkeytalkline@butterball.com.

As much as I would like to join the Turkey Club in my family, this is not my calling. The question is when will I cook the turkey?  You can find the answer here.

December 26 is the time when my family cooks the carcass of the turkey to make soup.  Everybody, I mean every body, looks forward to this famous soup.  Luckily, no turkey for me on Christmas dinners due to a self-imposed quarantine, sick as a dog with colds.  Unfortunately, I will miss out on the turkey soup.  Boo hoo.

Child’s Lesson

The world misses the lesson because it confuses littleness with weakness, child-likeness with childishness, and humility with an inferiority complex. 
lady and sheen
 It forgets that great moral strength may be hidden in physical weakness, as Omnipotence was wrapped in swaddling bands; and that great Wisdom may be found in simple faith as the Eternal Mind was found in the form of a Babe. There is strength – strength before which the angels trembled, strength before which the stars prostrated, and strength before which the very throne of Herod shook in fear.
 “When you got what you wanted, were you happy? Do you remember when you were a child, how ardently you looked forward to Christmas? How happy you thought you would be, with your fill of cakes, your hands glutted with toys, and your eyes dancing with the lights on the tree! Christmas came, and after you had eaten your fill, blown out the last Christmas candle, and played till your toys no longer amused, you climbed into your bed and said, in your own little heart of hearts, that somehow or other it did not quite come up to your expectations. And have you not lived that experience over a thousand times since?”  ~Fulton Sheen (You)
 
 
 
Source :  Christmas: Our Lady and Sheen

A Child is Born

christmas 2013

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government
shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

My Christmas Thoughts for You

Holy Family
 
The very best of all my thoughts
are those that think of you.
The very best of all my hopes
are those that speak of you.
My fondest hopes,
my cherished dreams,
my prayers to the Lord above,
The very best of all these
I offer you my love.

Merry Christmas

Star of Bethlehem: A Pilgrim Story

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The Holy Land is not so holy when the Israelis occupy the land of the Palestine’s, the Muslims building mosque on top of the Christian church and the Christians are now a minority.  There is always trouble yet I went … Continue reading

Let’s play in the pit and find what we have in common

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Okay, let’s take a break from the thoughts of Christmas.

We are all strangers in the blogging world, right? What can we share about ourselves pretending we are in the pit.

SoulPancake creatively helps strangers connect with one another in this video where they install a ball pit on a random street with questions to ask people who climb in. A stranger getting to know a stranger is a wonderful thing.

My share:  Currently, I have a flipper, too.  It is now two Christmas in a row that I am waiting for one front tooth and I miss eating all the good food!  The dentist promised that the tooth fairy is coming in January 2014.

Your turn.

 

Email received: A gentle reminder about Christmas

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This is the content of the e-mail about a Christmas song:  A beautiful story, read, watch and enjoy.

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus.

Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, “where’s the line to see Jesus”? My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends.

He sent the song off to without much response, except for a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus… with goose bumps and emotions high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in just under 2 hours and sent off again to … still no response.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CD’s, iTunes, anything… we had nothing.

After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring… this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs… the real deal…. and here we are today. Getting iTunes set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together… remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults cannot understand. Hopefully Spencer’s observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him.

We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you.  Merry Christmas everyone.

The Joy of Children’s Performance

Play as you read along: https://3psbyseeker.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/saint-lucia-in-sweden.mp3

Last week of school, the children came to the Board for show and tell.  They show us, tell us, and perform for us what they learnt at school.  We all look forward to this special event.  Working at the head office, we hardly get a chance to see the students.  Instead they come to us.

They came to post on the bulletin board their art work of Hanukkah Fingers

They decorated the Christmas tree with plenty of angels and sang Christmas songs in French.  These students study in a French Immersion Program in one of the Vancouver public schools.

Lord Byng String Orchestra

Lord Byng has a group of students that plays string instrument.  They, too, came to perform for us. The Lord Byng String Orchestra is going to perform at Lincoln Center in the spring.  Last year, they had the great distinction of being invited to an exclusive festival for American School Orchestras in Atlanta, Georgia.  They wowed judges at the festival and received a standing ovation.  They took second place.  It is likely that they did not win first place as the award probably needed to go to an American school since it was an American competition.  Also, as they wear concert black and not school uniforms they were actually docked points from their performance, another reason for not making first place.  (All American groups wear school uniforms).

One song that I love the most is Santa Lucia that a group of elementary students with angelic voices sang for us in earlier years. I beg the Maestro for a repeat performance and did not stop begging until he oblige.  It was a heavenly sweet delightful song.

The song you just listened to titled “Santa Lucia in Sweden” came from YouTube.

It will be quiet for the next two weeks on the school level while the children are on winter break to celebrate their life in their own traditional ways.

To keep things in perspective.

Keeping Your Sense of Humor During the Christmas Season? (via Prayers and Promises)

Keeping your sense of humor during the Holidays?  Or are you pulling your hair out?  Ready to string Santa up by those lights?  Or how about running over Rudolph?  Thought I would share some fun today, and hopefully put a smile on your face! This…

Thank you Diana for making me smile, prayers and the promise of power in prayers (Oh, 3Ps!).  There is wisdom to sharing some laughter.

Have a Blessed Christmas to Everyone.

A Leap of Faith

Dec 22, 2013, Sunday.  Today, we will light up the fourth candle and it represents Love.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
With Love, Prayers and Blessings to you and yours.  Pax Tecum ~ Seeker.

Look! A Shooting Star

Look at everything and everyone around you and imagine how a creating and loving God would see what you see. Love the good; do what you can to change what needs to be changed.
— from Advent with St. Francis

Another day at the dental office and another 3.5 hours listening to Christmas music is highly not on the top of the list of having fun.  My mouth is still sore from the other day and here I go again feeling kind of masochist and the dentist a sadist.  I decided to turned off my mind, recited a mantra and went into the clouds of unknowing.  The next thing I knew, soft hands were caressing my face and waking me up gently every time my mouth gradually closes.  I really rather be sleeping and pretend that I am somewhere in outer space.

‘Humming a song with the dentist’s fingers, feeling the pain of the drill, feeling my mouth with plaster, feeling me softly with pain’, a song in my head that is not conducive to relieving the agony.  So I changed the mental song to ‘Catch a falling star and put in my pocket save it for a rainy day’. Perry Como`s song sounded much better.

Eventually, the session is over only to return next year to finish the job. Left the clinic and went to a floral shop to divert my attention.  Just looking, admiring  and savouring the scented flowers with no intention of buying until I saw a plant that has the most beautiful white flower.  It was a very unusual plant, a species of hydrangea called Shooting Star.  With no hesitation, I bought it,  took it home and gave the plant to the next door neighbour for no reason at all.  But of course, the neighbour always wants a reason and asks why.  Before I can give her a chance to ask why, I said: “Here, Merry Christmas.”

Shooting Star

The first thing the neighbour exclaimed was “Shooting Star! I dreamt of Shooting Star last night!”  Was she ever excited and gave me a bear hug, a kiss on my forehead and never-ending gratitude.  Our stars must be aligned is all I can think of to dismiss the coincidence.  What I really think is that her angels must have whispered in my ears, the soft still voice that made me buy the plant and gave it to her.

Ain’t life grand?  It takes very little to make one happy in turn made me feel joyful.

Break the cord and fly like a bird.

fly like a bird

When you feel as if you are in a deep darkness because of doubt, fear, illness, or depression, rather than try to desperately climb out perhaps it would be better to “walk in the dark.”  Often when we try too hard we only get more discouraged and if we go with the flow while we try, we slowly feel better.

We can be attached to our pursuit of happiness and health to the point of forgetting we are human.  We can expect ourselves, our doctors, therapists, spiritual directors, and priests to completely heal us, as if they were god.  Pursuing health and happiness are good but need to be kept in balance.  If we pine for them too much, we ignore the fact that only God can fully heal us and bring us lasting happiness.  

When you feel overwhelmed by life’s difficulties St. John of the Cross advises:

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”

“The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.  For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.”

 

Links:
 

Christmas isn’t just another holiday.

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What Christmas means to me says it all on this song.

Christmas isn’t just another holiday.  The word Christmas derived from the name  Jesus Christ.  Christmas is the time when we celebrate His birth.  I’ll stand up in the crowd and proud to say Merry Christmas.

Start with yes

You Must Start With Yes ~ Richard Rohr’s meditation

By teaching “Do not judge”, the great teachers are saying that you cannot start seeing or understanding anything if you start with “no.” You have to start with a “yes” of basic acceptance, which means not too quickly labeling, analyzing, or categorizing things as in or out, good or bad, up or down. You have to leave the field open, a fie…ld in which God and grace can move. Ego leads with “no” whereas soul leads with “yes.”

poppies on the field

The ego seems to strengthen itself by constriction, by being against things; and it feels loss or fear when it opens up. “No” always comes easier than “yes,” and a deep, conscious “yes” is the work of freedom and grace. So the soul lives by expansion instead of constriction. Spiritual teachers want you to live by positive action, an open field, and studied understanding, and not by resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness, and so they always say something like “Do not judge,” as judging is merely a control mechanism.

Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always non-dualistic. You cannot really experience reality with the judgmental mind, because you are dividing the moment before you give yourself to it. The judgmental mind prevents you from being present to the full moment by trying to “divide and conquer.” Instead, you end up dividing yourself and being conquered.

Source:  Richard Rohr’s meditation adapted from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics

Musical Anesthesia

Video

At the dental office this morning, I listened to the sound of Christmas songs for two and a half hours while having dental work. This job required local anesthesia.  One particular music helped me focus away from the drilling of one of the teeth in order to save it.  The music carried me away in meditating about the story of a birth of new-born King.

This song has over 20 million hits.  Is it the song or the singer?  I hope it’s the song.

Each Day is a Blessing ~ Minute Meditations

We are called to love God and one another. That is our primary vocation.
Morning Glory

Morning Glory

The reason we rise in the morning and the purpose of our life on earth is to learn how to receive God’s love and then share it. God’s gift of life to you each morning is a sign that He has a mission for you that day.
 
 
— from Tweet Inspiration

Close your eyes and walk in the dark

St. John

Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
you fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.

~~ Spiritual Canticle of St. John the Cross ~ Stanza 1

St. John the Cross was born in 1542 as John (Juan de Yepes Alvarez) in a small community near Avila, Spain.  He joined the Carmelite Order in 1563 and took the name Juan de Sato Matia (John of St. Mathias). In 1577, the unreformed Carmelites imprisoned him in Toledo, Spain.

In a dark, cold and desolate six by 10 feet prison cell, he wrote his famous poem: Spiritual Canticle.

In 1578 after nine months of imprisonment, he escaped taking with him his poetry.  He stayed in a convent to get better, read his poetry and shared his experience of God’s love to the sisters.

He is similar to Rumi, a poet and a mystic.  He also wrote the Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mount Carmel.  He is one of the leading poets in Spanish literature.

Sources:

Ten more days before Christmas

Plan A and B failed me.  Now I have to shift the focus of this blog to Plan C.  C for Christmas and that means advent.

What to expect starting today until the end of the year from this site will be mostly meditations and daily wisdom taken from Facebook.  These are post from sites that I subscribed that help me shape my interior life.

man waiting

Let’s meditate, cogitate, and vegetate: not necessarily in this order.

Pax Tecum:  seeker

A Community: Local Public Market

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

Visiting the public market in a another country is one thing I include in my itinerary with or without the help of a guide. Here in Compostela de Santiago, before we enter the mainstream, the busyness of the daily specials … Continue reading

If

z ifanylittlewordofmine (2)

If any little word of mine
May make a life the brighter;
If any little song of mine
May make a heart the lighter,
God help me speak the little word,
And take my bit of singing
And drop it in some lonely vale,
To set the echoes ringing.

If any little love of mine
May make a life the sweeter;
If any little care of mine
May make a friend’s the fleeter;
If any lift of mine may ease
The burden of another,
God give me love, and care, and strength,
To help my toiling brother.

Composers: 

Small Culture

Lately, I have been thinking of him, a lot. The bench underneath the tree where he used to seat is empty and the tree is now bare, leafless.

z ian

Sometimes, I take a peak at the cafeteria and thinking that I might see him there, eating without the help of teeth. How can he possible eat without any choppers?

It’s time for me to pull out the books of poems he generously gave to me, read some and share some to you as promised.  I just noticed the dedication:

Heaven has no humour like
A woman in love with English

To remind you of what I shared with you before, you may read it here.

Small Culture ~ poem by Ian Rudkin

You can’t assume that a woman is
Supposed to know who you are. A woman
Doesn’t have to like men but she does
Because she is a woman. Honest likes honest.

Brutality preys on a good woman’s soul
Man’s good is not quantity. Human good
Is a humour about fallibility. You can’t
Get free-flowing food if you can’t see it.

People who want ordinary food naturally pay
Some money. Poets thus are really wise to
Share their thoughts with their friends and
Their books with people who want ordinary books.

The sign of an amateur is to have
Too high a regard for success. It is good
To value small successes. That way you have
The idea of what pleases — that is, directness.

He wore the same pants, the same shirt and the same jacket.  Walking around, holding his waist bands so that his pants won’t fall.  Did he forget to wear his belt, again?

I miss his presence.

A Party Invitation

I attended a Blog Party hosted by Mischievouseyez.  It was a blast because she was an excellent hostess.

Kozo of Bloggers4Peace wants us to give you a party.  The challenge is to plan a party that will ripple peace to the world.  Since I am a wallpaper when it comes to a party, I am asking for your assistance.

What I need from you is to leave a comment about peace,  write a sentence or two and I will publicize your comments.

Here’s some food and drinks while you type your message.

For peace sake, thank you for your support.

Pax Tecum, seeker.

Dark Silence – It was grand

No power,
No radio,
No phone,
No television,
No internet,
No computer,
Candle flickering,
Sitting in the dark.
All is quiet.
It was grand! 
z grand
 “Why are you so wary of thought?” said the philosopher. “Thought is the one tool we have for organizing the world.” 
“True. But thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it.” 
To his disciples he later said, “A thought is a screen, not a mirror; that is why you live in a thought envelope, untouched by Reality.” ~~ Anthony de Mello, S.J. 
 MORSEL: We understand why children are afraid of darkness, but why are men afraid of light? ~~ Plato
 

A Humble Servant Leader

Hamba Kahle, Madiba

z mandela

Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” — from“Long Walk to Freedom”

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” — Addressing a crowd after his release from prison on Feb. 11, 1990.

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” — Nelson Mandela: The Early Life of Rolihlahla Mandiba

“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

He left us a lasting legacy.

Link:  CTV News: Mandela’s own words
Photo:  Parabola Magazine

A Special Gift

Today, I received a gift.  For me, it’s nothing special.  From the giver, it’s a very special gift.  And the gift is one Mango.

This is a very special mango brought by the three special stooges (my nephews) all the way from Palawan, Philippines.  Men think differently when it comes to buying gifts.  I wonder what they were thinking in choosing a Mango for a gift?  Maybe they though this is a perfect gift?  Maybe they thought I want a mango?  Maybe they thought of surprising me.  Maybe they were not thinking at all?  Maybe I will surprise them by returning the gift!

mango

Not.

I am happy to receive the gift and happier even more that these young men came home safely.  That is the most important part.  As for the gift, it’s the thought that counts.  It’s a gift from God to bring them back to us, mango included.

Now, allow me to ask these questions.  Indulge me, please participate, especially the men.  The questions are:

  • What if you bought the perfect gift for someone you love and they wouldn’t open it?
  • Would you leave it with them so they could think about it and maybe open it later?
  • What do you think God does when His gift is not accepted?

If you do not believe in God, think of your higher power or think up of anything.  Your comment awaits.  Thank you.

 
 
Source:  Patricia

The Enemy

leaves

The monks of a neighboring monastery asked the Master’s help in a quarrel that had arisen among them. They had heard the Master say he had a technique that was guaranteed to bring love and harmony to any group.

On this occasion he revealed it: “Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practice this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise.”

Having said that, he was gone.  ~~ Anthony de Mello, S.J

MORSEL: I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend. ~~ Lincoln (1809-1865)

BONUS: We have met the enemy, and it is us. ~~Pogo (Walt Kelly, Earth Day, 1971)

Listen and Tell Everyone

I am thrilled to present to you a poem written and spoken by K. A. Brace of The Mirror Obscura.  KB as I call him writes powerful poem.  He is kind enough to send me a copy of his poem even though I did not win on the guessing game.  Thank you, KB.

Click on the arrow button, LISTEN and Tell Everyone!

“Tell No One”

  I
Ever since the sun went down
I have been watching
The trees drink up all the night.
Constellations are collapsing, stars
Die of thirst without crying
As the earth is filled with darkness seeping
Through the roots of forests but cannot protest.
When the sun attempts to rise again
There will be nothing left for it to hang on.
The sky will be a ghost of dreams
Made mute and imageless by this theft.

I am unsure to wake you for fear
You will not believe what I see.

Without you only stones are witnesses
But will not speak.
They are ambivalent weights of destiny
That care only for themselves.

I am frozen where I stand
Afraid to sleep, knowing when I wake
The world will have changed again.

II
What are you willing to sacrifice
For nothing, letting sacrifice
Be enough of its own?

Are you willing to leave
All lingering doubts behind you
In a trail of sloughed off skins?
Those who follow
Will use them as parchment
To write the unknown stories
Of other lives.

Ask yourself,
What it is you really want
Beyond the atmosphere of being?

The regiments of days
Will march past the spot
You stand on now.
Unable to decide
To mark your place or leave
Nothing to be remembered by
Freezes you in indecision.
You already know what comes after
Can only come
If you give way and leave nothing.

You were nothing and will return to it.

To expect more
Is to wait in an eternity
Of unanswered questions,
You are left with
Answering yourself
With defeat.

III
What is it you fear the most?
It is the thing you love.
It is an unresolvable situation
If we try to resolve it.

Sooner or later fear
Turns into displeasure and love
To hate.

We murder the thing within us
That allows
Love to be a part of us
And all the times thereafter
We know our guilt.

It cannot be expunged,
Forgotten, or covered over.
Every thought we have becomes
One of never having had the faith
To love as we could have loved
Something outside ourselves.

The truth is
We could not find it in our heart
To love ourselves enough
To think ourselves worth loving.
That is the mark of Cain,
The shadow cast by shame.

IV
Somethings
Will never be that sweet.
Bitterness is what we seek
Even unaware as we are
Of how tempting the taste is
On the tongue, the ease
With which some words
Are palatable when said.

There is more vehemence
In the unbridled side
Of life’s ugliness.
When let loose to wander freely
In what is voiced it frees
What hides beneath the skin;
Has been waiting
To be asked
To join in and boast
Of all it has been holding back.

Love cannot wait.
It cannot hide
And so stretches itself out
Underneath every sun and star
Innocent
Of every moment it shows itself
As what it is
Until it feels unloved,
Then grows its scars
Counts them one by one every day
And calls each one by name,
The cause that made the wound.

V
I am caught in the wandering hours,
Pillars carved by a plague
Of halts with their aromas,
Sweet scents of decay, lingering
In tropes no tongue can speak of.

Fountains of drought spew sand
In all directions making a wasteland of the day,
A hollowness of a frigid night.
Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the planets
Can move in their orbits obstructed
By dead songs of an astrology gone mad.

There is no going back. The past
Has been erased to hide itself
From what lies ahead, bitterness
And the orphaned waiting of the old.

Reluctance has become the watchword
In what wisdom still flourishes
Like an ocean tide that once receded
Refuses to wash once more to shore.

All I can do is watch
As the world shrinks beneath the weight
Of its own shadow on the sky.

If you ever pass this way when time
Has become a voice again
Remember what you have seen here
And tell no one or they will think
You have lost all sense of what is real.

But in remembering it will thrive,
Take on the true life of its own,
As though you had birthed it
With its own freedom.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

By now, thanksgiving leftovers are either eaten, made into soup or stored in the freezer.  Relatives or friends that stayed over have returned to their own homes.  And some would linger around.

z leftovers

What do we do with this one?

Source: New Yorker: A Thanksgiving cartoon by Liza Donnelly

Children’s thoughts

 A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. 
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. 
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. 
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. 
The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah”. 
The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?” 
The little girl replied, “Then you ask him “.
——————————————————————————–
A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s work. 
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. 
The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” 
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” 
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”
——————————————————————————–
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. 
After explaining the commandment to “honor” thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” 
Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, “Thou shall not kill.” 
——————————————————————————–
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. 
She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”
Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.” 
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”
——————————————————————————–
The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. 
 “Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, ‘There’s Jennifer, she’s a lawyer,’ or ‘That’s Michael, He’s a doctor.’ 
A small voice at the back of the room rang out, “And there’s the teacher, she’s dead.” 
——————————————————————————–
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.” 
“Yes,” the class said. 
“Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?” 
A little fellow shouted, “Cause your feet ain’t empty.” 
——————————————————————————–
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: 
“Take only ONE. God is watching.” 
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. 
A child had written a note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples. 
 
Source:  Reconnections.net
 

Baby’s first Monday

Mondays are just like eating lemons for the first time.

The first bite is the hardest

Then the babies grow up

And they found many different ways to use a lemon

Tequila!

If life hands you a lemon, drink tequila for a chaser.  Have joy filled Monday everyone.

What it’s all about

Two minutes will explain what Advent is all about.  Watch and enjoy.

 
“Be still:
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind
That blew away his halo with his cares,
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.”
―     Thomas Merton
 
 
Source: Busted Halo

Joyful Mystery

Announcing that a new baby coming is filled with excitement.  We cannot wait for the baby to come.  Wait we must, with joyful anticipation for the birth of a new child.  Same thing with birthdays, we can’t seem to wait to celebrate someone else’s birthday.  Wait we must, with gladness. 
It’s a waiting game. 
I don’t mind waiting.  For most of my life, I wait.  Life consists mostly of waiting.  The question is what do I do while I wait?  The in-between-times. how do I respond to this?  
This photo is one of the many depictions of the Annunciation displayed in Bethlehem contributed by the Philippines.  It’s an image of pure simplicity. 
Bethlehem  Annunciation
 
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 
Meditating on this photo with Mary in mind, she gladly accepted what was unacceptable.  She said YES to conceive.  What a courageous act.  She waited with great understanding, anticipation and longing to fulfill her calling. 
As I reflected on this, my breathing slows down absorbing the joyful mystery.  A one-minute-meditation, my mind and heart became pregnant with desire to be more intimate with Jesus Christ. 
 

I believe ~ a different perspective

Halloween was not even over yet, the Christmas stockings are now on sale.  Just a minute, wait until we bury back the dead, the ghosts to return to ghost town and bring out the ghost of Christmas past on Christmas day, not on October 31st.

Recently, a group of little green people accosted me insisting that Santa Claus is already in town.  Yah? Really?  And where he could be, I asked.  They responded in chorus line: Richmond Mall!  Hah, there you are, it’s all about going to the mall to entice me in spending money that I don’t have.  They even bribed me with candy canes and a button that says “I believe.”  No thanks, I still have yet to finish all the Halloween candies.

green people

Passing by Metro Town Mall, look who’s there?  Santa Claus.  There’s no need for me to go to Richmond since Santa’s doppelganger is right here up my alley.

Seriously!  Before Christmas starts, this whole idea will wear out thin.  Come to think about it, the twelve day of Christmas does not start until December 25 and it ends on January 6.  And real gift giving is on the first Sunday of the following year when the Three Kings arrive to bring the gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Hearing Celine Dion sing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” and Michael Buble’s rendition of “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” while I shop at Safeway makes me want to scream “Will somebody please turn off this music!”  I can’t concentrate what to buy for dinner on a rainy day and to come home in an apartment without fire-place.

I must admit Vancouver features many areas where one can go to be in the groove for Christmas.  The famous lights in St. Paul’s Hospital, the Christmas train at Stanley Park, the German Market at Queen Elizabeth, the dancing fountain at Van Dusen garden and the many homes that are fully decorated with Christmas lights.

christmas market

And what do I really believe and celebrate during Christmas season?  My answer is one word:  Advent

What is Advent?

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin Adventus, which means “coming.” It is a time for quiet reflection, prayer and conversion in anticipation of the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The readings and the liturgies during Advent prepare us for the birth of Jesus, but they also prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. The season offers us the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert as we await his Second Coming. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. It ends at sundown on Christmas Eve. Since Christmas falls on different days of the week, Advent can range in duration from 22 days when Christmas falls on a Monday to 28 days when Christmas falls on a Sunday. Advent marks the beginning of the Church year. Unlike the secular year, which marks the passage of time, the liturgical year celebrates the sacred mysteries of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The year begins during Advent in anticipation of the coming of Jesus with reflections on the Hebrew prophecies and the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah.

Jesus beloved son

Christmas is not a holiday.  Please don’t greet me with Happy Holidays.  Christmas is merry.  I will joyfully greet you Merry Christmas.  I’m sure I’m not alone to wish you a Merry Christmas and won’t the last.

Merry Christmas.

Walking in the light

Gallery

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep! A new day is dawning for all those who weep. The people in darkness have seen a great light. The Lord of our longing has conquered the night.   Let us build the … Continue reading

The Mo Must Go

It’s almost the end of the November and we are all bushy face, growing stubble, mustaches and beards for the MOvember event.  Some people would like to look like Tom Selleck.  Ha! Fat chance.  There is only one Tom Selleck.

I did try growing facial hair but the hair follicle is stubborn that I just have a few here and there sticking out.  Not even worth trying.

However, someone in my circle is very successful.  To sweeten up the MOvement, she even baked cookies for fundraising. A cookie cost $1.99 and $1.00 goes to charity.

This weekend, the Vancouver Art Gallery will give us a FREE shave by donation.  Plus we can drop off our electric shavers, razors and trimmers for recycling.  For every item collected, $5 goes to MOvember Foundation.

Should you wish to keep the grizzly look, you might want to explore this site for tips: MO-Community.

“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.”

 

 

Related Link: MOvember: Get Involved

Good Day.

It is a good day for I am about to introduce a new addition in our community.  Everyone say hello to Spiky.  She is a baby hedgehog.

z spiky

Please do not be jealous, Binky.  I am very much aware that it was you who found this spikeball.  Of course, you are still the centre of attraction.  I promised Grandma that I will help her find the other foster parent to another spikeball in the cyberspace.  Maybe they can exchange how to take care of Spiky so that she won’t eat your food.

What do you think, Binky?  Oh?  You want me to introduce you as well?  Okay, everyone, meet Binky the hero of Spiky.

z binky

Happy now?

Related link:  Spiky: Furry Friend

Better than Perfect

Way better!

Not that I get to celebrate Thanksgiving in October the Canadian Way, I am celebrating the American and the Jewish tradition as well.

HAPPY MENURKEY DAY !!!!

Holy One of Blessing, may all the different peoples, cultures, traditions and lifestyles that constitute America work together to share what we have with those in need. – Rabbi Laura Geller

We celebrate this day as a nation of people who have been blessed more than any other people on the face of the earth and at any time. We acknowledge you as the giver of the good we so easily take for granted. Forgive us as we are a forgetful people. Grant us on thisThanksgiving Day, the time to reflect on all the ways you have blessed each of us who has gathered. Increase our understanding of your ways, defeat us when we use our blessings for selfish gain, and remind us to love one another. ~ Christian Blessings

Coming from the Philippines, we do not have such thing as Thanksgiving Day for we give thanks every moment and every day.

It has been over 70,000 years since Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped and today is the gravy for the celebration.  Don’t know when the next time it will happen again and I will make sure I will live it up, today!

See, I told you it will be a Perfect Day.

Photo Credit:  Jews embrace the merging of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day

Bears of British Columbia, Canada

Greenland posted a video that is made from British Columbia, Canada and I was hoping to see a real bear made in Artic!

 
 

British Columbia has Kermodo and Grizzly bears. I think this Polar bear from Greenland wants to move in Canada.

Very clever, The Fourth Continent.

Welcome

The Master set out on a journey with one of his disciples.  At the outskirts of the village they ran into the governor, who, mistakenly thinking they had come to welcome him to the village, said, “You really didn’t have to go to all this trouble to welcome me.”

“You are mistaken, your highness,” said the disciple.  “We’re on a journey, but had we known you were coming we would have gone to even greater pains to welcome you.”

The Master did not say a word.  Toward evening he said, “Did you have to tell him that we had not come to welcome him?  Did you see how foolish he felt?”

“But had we not told him the truth, would we not have been guilty of deceiving him?”

“We would not have deceived him at all,” said the Master.  “He would have deceived himself.”

Anthony de Mello, SJ

 z crows

MORSEL: Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them. ~~Thomas Merton

Keep Talking

I have been in many places, but I’ve never  been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with  someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you  there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to  be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m  not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is  a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in  Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up  the heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think  I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.

People keep telling me I’m in Denial but I’m positive – I’ve been there before and its quite a nice place to  be!

I have been in Deep shit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to  get there.

Mental Health Day is all year long.

keep talking about mental health

“Life is short. Smile  while you still have your teeth.”

Source: e-mail

Life = Risk

Failure is an excellent teacher.  It teaches us how to better ourselves.  How we can improve on a given situation.  Try, if unsuccessful, try again.  Use failure for your success.

Should I have allowed an elementary teacher to terrorize me by being called stupid, I would have retreated in my cocoon.  No, I showed here.  She failed me in her class and moved to an Annex to be with so-called failures.  I showed her. I excelled and back to the main school with flying grades.  Was I scared?  Of course, I was.  I was just a little student girl against an adult teacher.  That did not stop me.  And the rest is history.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”   ~   Bill Cosby

Inspired by: Jimmy vs World

The Cure

lander&co

Psychiatrist vs. Bartender

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had a fear of someone under my bed at night.  So I went to a psychiatrist and told him, “I’ve got problems.  Every time I go to bed I think there’s somebody under it.  I’m scared.  I think I’m going crazy.”

“Just put yourself in my hands for one year,” said the psychiatrist.  “Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears.”

“How much do you charge?”

“Eighty dollars per visit,” replied the doctor.

“I’ll sleep on it,” I said.

Six months later the psychiatrist met me on the street.

“Why didn’t you come to see me about those fears you were having?” he asked.

“Well, Eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an awful lot of money!  A bartender cured me for $10.  I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went and bought me a new pickup!”

“Is that so!” he said with a bit of an attitude.  “And how, may I ask, did a bartender cure you?”

“He told me to cut the legs off the bed! – Ain’t nobody under there now!!!”

DUMP THOSE PSYCHIATRISTS.  GO HAVE A DRINK AND TALK TO YOUR BARTENDER.

 

Source: Psychiatrists v….
Cartoons by: Landers.co.uk

At a moment of Grace

Residents pray inside a damage Catholic Church after Typhoon Haiyan damaged Tacloban, Philippines.  With the gifts of faith, hope, and love the Filipinos will recover and become stronger people.

Source:  BC Catholic November 15, 2013 issue

Source: BC Catholic November 15, 2013 issue

Do not mourn Nature,
For you will discover,
A new growth underneath,
Hope will always deliver.
Rise to the occasion,
Leave the worrying,
Provide us with beauty,
That is your calling.
 
Belsbror
 

 
 

Thank you for the Sunday music, Diana Rasmussen

No Expection = unexpected delightful surprises

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Travel agents provide suggested reading list and itinerary of daily activities so that we know what to expect.  Did I read any of the books?  No.  Did I read the itinerary?  A little bit.  Should I have read everything given … Continue reading

A writer and a poet

Two people that are faithful to each other’s writing.  And they are both worthy of one another.  I find them beautiful.

z writing

A writer:

…  and silent; and silence is not always a bad thing.  And silence is not always a good thing.  I’m late, and I’m silent, and my brilliant and beautiful wife has stumbled into slumber, which is a rational thing to do.  There was some kind of get-to-gether last night all over the continent, and their focus was to turn their clocks back one hour.  I was convinced to jump in on the madness, and that might be why I’m really tired and it is only 11:02 pm.  Seems later.  Apparently we were all supposed to “fall back” …

My (currently silent) partner, just broke her silence from her slumber and told me respectfully, “Its time to stop your computing, Dear.  Its time to go to bed.  So, I guess I will end with … Find your voice; rejoice; pray and listen.  This week grab wisdom, and don’t be stupid.  Peace, you guys,

A Poet

Silence is neither always good nor bad,
but it is what clings to you late into the night.
My settled wife has stumbled into settled slumber,
a rational thing to do I’d agree, but still,
here I am, bone weary, too drained to get up and join her.

The continent this night got together to turn their clocks
upside down and backside front, and—convinced as I was
to connive in on the madness—I think that explains me
somehow: I was supposed to fall back and apparently I did,
because whatever time it is, it’s too late for me now.
“Dear, come to bed.”

Find your voice. Rejoice. Pray and listen.
This week grab wisdom and don’t be stupid.
I went to bed.

 
 Links to read more about them.
The writer:  Find your voice, find your voice and listen 
The poet:  Just what time is it anyway
With special thanks to The Mirror Obscura  for pointing Book of Pain.
 
Photo credit: Helium.com

Falling Upward

imagesCAMV6FWY
 Unless you let the truth of life teach you on its own terms, unless you develop some concrete practices for recognizing and overcoming your dualistic mind, you will remain in the first half of life forever, as most humanity has up to now. In the first half of life, you cannot work with the imperfect, nor can you accept the tragic sense of life, which finally means that you cannot love anything or anyone at any depth. Nothing is going to change in history as long as most people are merely dualistic, either-or thinkers. Such splitting and denying leaves us at the level of mere information. 
Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go; split people see and create splits in everything and everybody. We are meant to see in wholes and no longer just in parts. Yet we get to the whole by falling down into the messy parts—so many times, in fact, that we long and thirst for the wholeness and fullness of all things, including ourselves. I promise you this unified field is the only and lasting meaning of up. 
Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
Image from: stepstoself.blogspot.com 

Defy the law of physics

I had my ups and downs. My fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds.  That’s what made me what I am today.  Now I stand here before you.  What you see is a body crafted to perfection.  A pair of legs engineered to defy the law of physics and a mind set to master the most epic of splits. 
 
“The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there’s no flow, stay still.” ~ Haruki MurakamiTo find more about Following Flow, visit Eric Tonningsen’s  “Awakening to Awareness.  Thank you Eric.

Seven Million Whys!

I have this note posted on my computer at work that is sort of a queue card for me that helps me on a daily basis when it comes to communication, analysis and problem solving.

“I have six honest serving men, they taught me all I know.  I call them What, Where, When, Who, Why and How.”

z kipling

However, I have a problem with Why.  For me, it’s a childish question.  It’s alright when a child ask me why but when an adult asks, I felt like saying: “Are you a dolt?” in my mind.  So I facetiously answer: “Why is the sky blue?”  Evading this word is easier for me than responding to it.  The person will never be satisfied with my response.  It is akin to being put on the grill.  Having worked in a law firm, I know better.

As I found out, the whole poem is part of a children’s book written by Kipling:

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
The Elephant’s Child 

This poem just answered my question how come I do not like “Whys”!
Thank you, Poet4Justice: If for helping me solve a riddle.
Related Link: Kipling: Elephant’s Child

Guess who’s coming to town

Yesterday’s event section at Metro News: Hilary Clinton headed to Vancouver as a keynote speaker on March 5, 2014 for an event on Women’s Leadership Circle.  Expected cost $600 a ticket.

z hilary clinton

As much as I want to see Hilary, $600 dollars will go a long way not for me but to the needy.

The purpose of this post is to challenge the Vancouverites instead of spending it for the Leadership Circle to hear  Hilary, donate this money to the needy in Vancouver.  Or better yet, send it to the Philippines for emergency relief.  Canada will match your dollar.

Be a servant leader instead.

Related Articles:

The Silence

z forget it all

“The Silence” (1997)
I listened
And waited a long time
For what was to be said
And nothing spoke
but a silence so deep
it could be speech
or a primed hesitance
of speech to say
what’s true
for ear or mind
as yet unborn
to take it in
so that the longer
and deeper
it grew
the more
the unbroken silence
felt full

Poem by: Edwin Honig
Photo credit: BBC

Garden of Daily Living

gardening 101

 

How To Plant Your Garden

 

First, you  Come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses….

FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING,
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

 PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness


PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:


1. Lettuce be faithful

2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another


TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends

WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND   CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT   YOU SOW.  

Source:  e-mail author unknown

Song behind the Gravatar

MARY MAGDALENE
 
Mary Magdalene
 
I don’t know how to love him.
What to do, how to move him.
I’ve been changed, yes really changed.
In these past few days, when I’ve seen myself,
I seem like someone else. 
I don’t know how to take this.
I don’t see why he moves me.
He’s a man. He’s just a man.
And I’ve had so many men before,
In very many ways,
He’s just one more. 
Should I bring him down?
Should I scream and shout?
Should I speak of love,
Let my feelings out?
I never thought I’d come to this.
What’s it all about? 
Don’t you think it’s rather funny,
I should be in this position.
I’m the one who’s always been
So calm, so cool, no lover’s fool,
Running every show.
He scares me so. 
I never thought I’d come to this.
What’s it all about? 
Yet, if he said he loved me,
I’d be lost. I’d be frightened.
I couldn’t cope, just couldn’t cope.
I’d turn my head. I’d back away.
I wouldn’t want to know. 
He scares me so.
I want him so.
I love him so.
 
 
Related link:  Jesus Christ,  Superstar

Reflection after the storm

Memories came flooding in, seeping out of my memory bank.  The earthquake, the storm, death, then calm.

Sea of Galilee

Being born in the Philippines Mother nature rules.  Nature does not discriminate, from the young and old, from the poor and rich, from the ordinary to famous folks; we are all affected.  One of the saving graces, I now live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  Hardly any storm but plenty of rain and cloudy days.From what I can remember, Father was swept away by the sea, never to be found.  Was there a storm at the time that caused ragging waves?  I still have yet to know.  Mother had a nervous breakdown when Father died.  Was it his death or the thought of having to care for 13 children, the youngest four months old.  I was only four years old.  Most of my memory is vague maybe it was buried with Father in the sea.

Flying debris, the tin roof blown by the mighty wind, trees falling down, roaring of the wind, torrential rain and flooding are the effects of nature passing through.

Then came Ruby Tower crashing down.  It was intensity 7.7 in the Richter scale.  People rushing out of their homes.  Me standing by the canal, the water creating a whirlpool and saw a huge rock emerged from the ground.

We were spared from these disasters except Father.

The Voice of God in a Great Storm
A Psalm of David. (Psalm 29) 
 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy array. 
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, upon many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful,
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, 
and Sir′ion like a young wild ox. 
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
The voice of the Lord makes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forests bare;
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace! 
 This is a  Day of Grace.
 
Related Articles:

Expression of Apology and Hope

When we forgive, we have to let go of our own feelings, our own ego, our own offended identity, and find our identity at a completely different level—the divine level. I even wonder if it is possible to know God at all—outside of the mystery of forgiveness.  ~ Mystery of Forgiveness
Source: CNS photo by Art Babych

Source: CNS photo by Art Babych

The Archdiocese of Vancouver, Archbishop Miller addressed former residential school students on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission event.  He acknowledged the role the Church played in “implementing the Canadian government’s policy which involved forcibly separating children from their parents.”

THE APOLOGY

Distinguished members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Venerable Elders, Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools, First Nations Brothers and Sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Speaking on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, I am here with you today to acknowledge the role we played in implementing the Canadian government’s policy which involved forcibly separating children from their parents and families and placing them in Indian Residential Schools.  through generations, this deeply flawed policy has led to unbearable pain and suffering.

At the five residential schools which existed within the boundaries of the Archdiocese, we were entrusted with safeguarding the children and young people under our care. However, we failed to live up to the trust placed in us. Over the century of their existence, tragic incidents of cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse took place at these schools. We hold in high esteem those survivors who have had the courage to tell the truth about their harrowing experiences….

Read the full letter here

Related links:

Evolution of Man: Layers of History

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Layer up is the advise of our fearless leader .  Make sure we have a rain gear underneath the layers of clothing we have to brave the elements of Camino de Santiago.  The weather was so fickle.  It cannot make up … Continue reading

What the world needs now

“Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself.” ~ Astrid Lindgren

z baby jame and grampa (2)

Super Baby with Super Grandpa

Lord, we don’t need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

Burt Bacharach sang by Dione Warwick
 
Thank you, Poets4Justice  for the song “What the world needs now“.
 
 
Link:

Thought

“Why are you so wary of thought?” said the philosopher. “Thought is the one tool we have for organizing the world.”

“True. But thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it.”

To his disciples he later said, “A thought is a screen, not a mirror; that is why you live in a thought envelope, untouched by Reality.”
~~ Anthony de Mello, S.J.

MORSEL:  We understand why children are afraid of darkness, but why are men afraid of light?   –Plato