I think I will rewrite some verse of truth or beauty It may serve a turn in my life.
What is prayer?
You take words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.
Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
With what memory?
With what aspiration?
So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,
then it’s a prayer.
words by Elie Wiesel
There is always a reason whatever that may be. But thoughts are funny for some reasons just do not make sense.
I will use myself as an example. And this is the bubble of my thoughts.
I post. I trash. I post. I trash. Repeat.
I wonder if Hemingway’s bubbling thoughts is similar to me. Did he learn to forgive?
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When photographers write about their assignments, I believe them. They can back it up with photos. There were two photographers talking about their expedition in the wild. This how the conversation went as I was eavesdropping. Svtakeiteasy: There is an … Continue reading
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The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation. Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and … Continue reading
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My family used to have a habit of asking me why am I still single. Being asked so much, I learned to be creative with my responses to these inquisition. Now, it’s rare they question my status. Rare
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Participation is admirable. They came prepared. Armed with nachos, cheeses, chips and juices to fuel their hunger for a long night of participation of asking questions, voice their concerns and listen to other speak about the future of their education. … Continue reading
In Cuba, Che Guevara is bigger than life. The Cuban artistically erected a monument for him even though he is not Cuban. Che revolutionized Cuba. No doubt, he is their hero. “Silence is argument carried out by other means.” The … Continue reading
When James Finley was a young monk at the monastery of Gethsemane, he shared with Thomas Merton (who was his spiritual director) his frustration at his seemingly inept efforts to experience God’s presence.Merton responded:
“How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the sun.”
Not that we don’t need to continue to seek God, but by our own efforts alone we cannot achieve spiritual maturity. We must bring ourselves to the Light where God’s grace seasons us into juicy, sweet, flavorful ripeness.
An understanding of ripening basically teaches us the wisdom of timing, love, and patience, and allows us to be wise instead of judgmental.
Source: Richard Rohr
A zealous disciple expressed a desire to teach others the Truth and asked the Master what he thought about this.
The Master said, “Wait.”
Each year the disciple would return with the same request and each time the Master would give him the same reply: “Wait.”
One day he said to the Master, “When will I be ready to teach?”
Said the Master, “When your excessive eagerness to teach has left you.” ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL: You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
A disciple confessed his bad habit of repeating gossip.
Said the Master wickedly, “Repeating it wouldn’t be so bad if you did not improve on it.”
~ Anthony de Mello, SJ
To attain Knowledge, add things every day.
To attain Wisdom,remove things every day.
~ Lao Tzu
Why do we say Bless You when someone sneezes? It is habit or plain superstition. I did a bit of research on about sneezing and it all stemmed from the great plague in 6th century.
National Geographic reports that during the plague of 590 AD, “Pope Gregory I ordered unceasing prayer for divine intercession. Part of his command was that anyone sneezing be blessed immediately (“God bless you”), since sneezing was often the first sign that someone was falling ill with the plague.” By 750 AD, it became customary to say “God bless you” as a response to one sneezing.
National Geographic : From Piazza San Pietro, proceed down the broad avenue across from the Basilica, Via della Conciliazione (commissioned by Mussolini to add grandeur to the site), to (4) Castel Sant’Angelo (Lungotevere Castello 50), a round-walled, battlemented structure that today serves as a museum. Commissioned as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., it was completed in 139 A.D after Hadrian had already died (his body was eventually entombed here). Within a hundred years the building was transformed into a fortress to help protect Rome from Germanic invaders. It got its current name in the sixth century—a time when a plague was devastating Rome—after Pope Gregory the Great had a vision of an angel hovering over the structure, sheathing its sword. The vision was interpreted as heralding the end of the plague, and a statue of Archangel Michael, the rescuing angel, was placed on top of the structure (the present bronze statue dates to 1752). In 1277 the fortress was connected to the Vatican Palace with a covered walkway and became a refuge of choice for successive Popes. It also harbored special prisoners, including the acclaimed goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, who was accused (apparently falsely) of embezzling pontifical gems. Exhibits in the museum today include weaponry and artifacts related to the building’s long, colorful history.
Source: God Bless You: Wikipedia
In memory of 9/11
“In five days, I’ll be 96 years old.
I never smoked.
I never had any stress.
I was dumb
I worked low-level jobs with no responsibility.
I worked until I was 84, with two jobs.
I worked at an office until five o’clock,
and then I went to work as a waitress
— it was a happy job, feeding people.
Then you take your uniform off,
and your job is done.
But somebody has to do
the stressful jobs, too.”
“Do you have any regrets?”
“Oh, I’ve made lots of mistakes.”
“With education and jobs?”
“No, no. With people.
And that hurts the most
— the things you’ve said to people.”
- Portraits of Boston Ivan Velinov,
I’ll see you in September
When summer is gone
Have a good time
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them
—the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881) Russian novelist
“To whom it may concern. From Courtenay library. Please find $100.00 for courier back to Courtenay and overdue. I shall contact next week to ensure all is in order. Thanks.”
More than 30 years after he first borrowed Camping and Woodcraft from a Vancouver Island library, an unidentified man has finally put the well-thumbed guidebook back into circulation.
The man, described only as an older gentleman, walked into a library branch in Prince George, B.C. and handed over a copy of the 1965 book Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers, and said he would like it returned to its home in Courtenay, B.C.
Do you have any books sitting around that is long overdue?
Source: National Post
“Calvin: Dad where do babies come from?
Dad: Well Calvin, you simply go to Sears, buy the kit and follow the assembly instructions.
Calvin: I came from Sears?
Dad: No you were a blue-light special at K-Mart – almost as good and a lot cheaper!”
― Bill Watterson
“Beauty is more than what we see with the eyes. People are more than their conditions. I am more than my hair and skin. This only shows my exterior”
She Took A Daily Selfie While Battling Depression & Anxiety. The Results Are Truly Astonishing.
Rebecca Brown is a film student from the U.K. In 2007, when she was only 14, she began a project that documented her life by taking selfie photos of herself. Brown is now 21 and she has compiled the roughly 2100 pictures that she has taken into a video on her Youtube channel.
This video documents her battle with depression, anxiety and an impulse control disorder (which is a form of OCD) known as Trichotillomania. (Trichotillomania causes a person to pull out their own hair when anxious).
Brown says that this project is ongoing and plans to continue as long as she can.
For all those people who are inflected by this disease, stay strong and be strong. There is always HOPE and life does get better.
It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from the effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting any immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition….
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.
~ Thomas Merton
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. ~ e.e. cummings”
I’m sleeping in and please leave me something funny to laugh at.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park,
spring at its most spectacular moment,
flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery
smoothly transferring you into another world.
It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have
multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings
no other brain ever managed to encounter.
Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself.
Find meaning or don’t find meaning
but steal some time and give it freely
and exclusively to your own self.
Opt for privacy and solitude.
That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause
you to reject the rest of the world.
But you need to breathe.
And you need to be.”
― Albert Camus
My life is full of in between times. What I do with the in between times is the most important aspect of my life, for without it, life is meaningless. The in between is ABOUT NOW.
In between reminds me of a good friend that I questioned ” what do you do in between”? That is load full of questions that has so many meanings and can be answered in many ways. Surely, there is so much I can do in between. It is mostly waiting filled with wonders:
- waiting in line
- waiting for the next meal
- waiting for the next vacation
- waiting for the next pay check
- waiting for the sun, moon, rain, snow
- waiting for faith, hope, charity, health, joy
- waiting for answers to my prayers, signs and miracles
The list is long. While I wait, so much have happened or not happened, in between.
I just realized that my life is full of miracles from the day of my conception, birth, growing, adding years to my age until the time of my departure on earth is all in between times. During this time, I experienced plenty and filled with gratitude.
As I defined myself:
Servant of the Lord, first and foremost. Lover of all sentient beings. Maurice and Lucy are my cats. I plant my own garden to decorate my soul, nurtures and keeps me grounded. Hummingbird connects me to an awesome wonders and makes me feel at home. I am a pilgrim on this earth.
So I created this space to share with you my “In Between Times.” It is a continuous series of:
- from one moment to the next,
- from one thought to the next,
- from one action to the next.
“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. ~ St. Augustine of Hippo.”
“Often people demand a great deal from themselves and their lives and are despondent when reality does not measure up. Milton has long been understood as having offered consolation for this affliction, reminding us that we do not always have a say in the role that we play in the world and that sometimes we must learn to see the service we are giving when we are doing nothing but waiting.”
I hate to say this, coming from the Philippines, the government system is becoming similar to where I came from. And it’s not a good situation.
“If we are not prepared to take a stand now (especially with the partial lockout and the salary reduction), when will we ever stand up to this government? Are we waiting for the government to roll our salaries back even further, to further reduce supports for students, to hold teachers even more accountable than they currently are?”
B.C. Teachers Are Only Asking For What Was Taken Away
Over the last decade, almost $2 billion has been funnelled out of public education.
Over the last decade, public education has had a funding reduction of almost $2 billion.
Over the last decade, our students have been deprived of $2 billion that should have been theirs. The government’s own numbers say so.
Class size and composition wording much like the BCTF is asking for used to be included in the contract. Teachers negotiated for these provisions and took years of zero per cent pay increases in order to fund them. They put their own potential earnings back into the school system in return for these working and learning conditions.
Let’s pause here for a moment to talk about what class size and composition actually mean. The first is rather straight-forward: the number of students in a class. The more students in a class, the less one-on-one attention is available for each student. This has a direct impact on students.
Class composition is a little trickier to explain, however. Class composition refers to the emotional and education needs of students. Some students require more assistance than others to accomplish the same learning outcomes as their peers.
Then, in 2002, the contract that included these negotiated terms was ripped up. The class size and composition language that the BCTF is trying to re-negotiate now was removed. Just…poof. Gone.
The Supreme Court of B.C. has twice said that the Liberal government’s dissolution of the negotiated contract was illegal. The courts have told the government that they need to fund these things. Twice.
Source:Ashley D. MacKenzie High School Teacher: Huffpost British Columbia
“Life will only come once, so make the most out of it.” via Words to Live By.
Suffer? I refuse.
Being out of job for the past few days due to teachers’ job action, I am enjoying the four hours of being in the public supporting the teachers during their strike. Meeting people on the street, getting to know teachers and peers, more time to exchange words , playing with dogs at the park, watching all the feathered creatures and enjoying the garden across the office are just a few pleasures that embrace during this tumultuous period.
As part of being in a unionized job, we respect the picket line. We do not cross the line to support the teachers in solidarity.
I have so much respect and admiration for the teachers. They are like the second parent of the child. As a matter of fact, most children spend more time at school than spending time with their parents.
It appears school ended prematurely for the children but the graduating class are still required to take their final exams with or without the teachers.
In the meantime, I will continue to count my steps as I pound the sidewalk walking side by side with the teachers and still have a few laughs along the way.
And it’s not all that bad, actually. The professional staffs are still working to step on the plate that we left behind at the office. On top of that, they come out to converse with us bringing a box of donuts and muffins to fuel our energy.
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”
source: Ralph Waldo Emerson. poets for justice
JOY IS LIKE THE RAIN
I saw raindrops on my window, Joy is like the rain.
Laughter runs across my pain, slips away and comes again.
Joy is like the rain.
Words and music: Miriam Therese Winter © Medical Mission Sisters 1965
“We had better share our bewilderments. By hiding them from each other we should not hide them from ourselves.”
― C.S. Lewis,
Artist Pascal Chesneau won the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation 2014 Wildlife Artist of the Year award for his stunning Transparence Elephant sculpture.
Three ways I interpret this art work:
- An elephant in the room
- The vanishing animal
- Endangered species
It’s no big surprise that he won the award not just his artistic ability and it’s an excellent conversational piece with so many meanings.
What does this mean to you?
What emotions arises from you?
What are you hiding?
Update: National Geographic News June 16, 2014 ~ Elephant Satao: Monumental Lost
“A little boy who had been to Sunday School told his father that he learned that God the Father and Son were equal.
The father said: “That is ridiculous. I am your father; you are my son. I existed a long time before you.”
“No,” said the boy, “you did not begin to be a father until I began to be a son.”
~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Happy Father’s Day To One and All. Blessings.
Read these words aloud as a prayer for this stage of your life—the fullness and generativity of your being.
Rest: A Poem
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
(Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)
via Richard Rohr
Said the Master:
“To be public-spirited and belong to no party,
to move without being bound to any given course,
to take things as they come,
have no remorse for the past,
no anxiety for the future,
to move when pushed,
to come when dragged,
to be like a mighty gale,
like a feather in the wind,
like weeds floating on a river,
like a mill stone meekly grinding,
to love all creation equally
as heaven and earth are equal to all
—such is the product of Enlightenment.”
On hearing these words, one of the younger disciples cried, “This sort of teaching is not for the living but for the dead,” and walked away, never to return. ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL: All Spiritual being is in man. A wise old proverb says, “God comes to see us without bell,” that is, as there is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so is there no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause, begins. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays “The Over-Soul”
“For me, personally, it’s not about creating something that looks like a photograph, which is often a moment in time, rather, I want to create work that connects with people and provokes an emotion whilst also being pleasing to look at.”
“I was struck by the closeness of these Barbary macaques to each other and spent a long time watching this couple, pondering the relationships they have and how similar they can be to our own. I want people who view the work to reflect back upon themselves and remember a time when they had the same intimacy and closeness with someone, be it a parent and child, siblings or partners. For me, it’s especially about that intimacy between two individuals where no one and nothing else exists in that moment. The softness of fur embodies the tenderness between them but also protection from the jagged rocks and the outside world. I want to show how feelings for someone special can often help see us through difficult times.”
Artist Colin Prestage created this incredibly tender portrait of two monkeys hugging in a piece called Sticking Together.
It was the year 1998, staying at a friend’s place in North Vancouver, I was in bed, waking up to the breaking of dawn. I closed my eyes, said my morning prayer, and suddenly a violent wind surrounds me. Thinking that I left the window open, the mighty wind will disturb everything in the room. I wanted to get up to close it but my body cannot move, and I fell into deep peace.
This is the detail of what happened to me written in this post.
In 2010, I found this article taken from the journal of Jacques Fesch, a young Frenchman who was sentenced to death in 1957 murdering a police officer. He had a profound experience in his prison cells that lead to his conversion to faith.
When Fesch had his conversion, I wasn’t born yet, but to see that our experience is similar is uncanny. What is it that we were both given this sanctifying grace that is available to anyone, believer or not, saint or sinners, young or old.
From a Catholic perspective, I can only relate to this experience from this verse:
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. [Acts 2:2-4]”
It is a moving experience.
The unbelievable thing about conversion is that the new person that we are become transformed that we joyfully forget the way we were before.
Look at it at this point of view of Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. Oliver, the would-be murderer that conspires to kill his brother Orlando, undergoes a powerful conversion. He confessed, “I do not shame to tell you what I was, since my conversion so sweetly tastes, being the thing that I am.”
“The world is just like a ride at an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round; it has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun … for a while.
Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: “is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, and they say, “Hey — don’t worry, don’t be afraid — EVER — because this is just a ride.”
A life lived on a twirling, whirling planet near the edge of a spinning galaxy makes for a hell of a ride.
If we’re lucky, it’s sometimes like a ride on a bus with a wisecracking bus driver. But from crib to coffin, it’s mostly a trip into the Unknown.
by Geoff Olson ~ Reflections on light and darkness” Just a Ride”
Quote from: Bill Hicks ~ a fairground metaphor for existence
I like to contemplate deep thoughts such as What is the meaning of life? Why is the sky blue? Why did the chicken cross the road? Searching for answers via Google, these are some responses from the great thinkers.
Plato: For the greater good.
Karl Marx: It was an historical inevitability.
Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.
Albert Einstein: Did the chicken cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?
Aristotle: To actualize its potential.
Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.
Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death. Epicurus: For fun.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn’t cross the road; it transcended it.
Johann Friedrich von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.
Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain.
Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.
David Hume: Out of custom and habit.
Sappho: Due to the loveliness of the hen on the other side, more fair than all of Hellas’ fine armies.
Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately … and suck all the marrow out of life.
Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.
Joseph Stalin: I don’t care. Catch it. Crack its eggs to make my omelette.
Captain James T. Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
Fox Mulder: You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross before you believe it?
Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?
The Bible: And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.
Dr. Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross the toad? Yes! The chicken cross the road, but why it crossed the road, I’ve not been told!
Colonel Sanders: I missed one?
In your opinion, why did the chicken cross the road?
kanzensakura: What a nice post! I too am a silver fox – at least I like to think so! My mother says, that after I wash my long hair, blow it dry, and it is all full and glisten white that I look like one of those wild Japanese demons. So I’m sticking with silver fox.
seeker: Japanese demons have long black hair. Yes, kanzen silver fox, stick to this one!
kanzensakura: Some do have the long white hair. It’s crazy. I started getting white hair when I was 20.
seeker: You must be my long-lost sister! Me, too. Spent lots of dinero to stay blue-black and then I decided, enough. The rest is history.
kanzensakura: I was in hospital about 6 years ago for cancer treatment and surgery. I had started turning white-haired early and after a few dye sessions, I decided it was not worth the time or the money. My husband and mother freaked because when they came to the hospital room after I had been brought up from recovery room, my hair was white. I haven’t even thought about dyeing it.
seeker: Hope that the treatment is successful. Not worth it, kanzen. Why hide our singular beauty with false beauty?
kanzensakura: Praise God, I’m cancer free.
I am always amazed when I see people dye their hair, as if it will make them look 20 or 30 still. I know several Asian women in the church I attend who have their hair touched up without fail every month.
One was sick for a while. I saw her before she came to church after her illness and she had an inch of pure white grow-out. She had developed a skin condition and would not be able to have her hair dyed so she was not coming to church until her hair could be – a space of several months.
I smiled and asked her, do you think God doesn’t know what you really look like inside or out?
She looked at me harshly and frowned.
I told her why my hair was white and that I considered it a badge of honor proof that I had been saved from cancer and still had a job to do for God here on earth.
I asked her maybe God is touching you and reminding you, we are all made of dust and to start working for Him in our limited time?
Well, she stopped dyeing her hair. And to be truthful, she looked 20 years older, softer, and more approachable. She became part of a ministry to teenagers, powerful among them and often seems, to be the youngest among them.
seeker: What a wonderful testament. God works in wonderful ways. Love and Prayers to you and yours.
kanzensakura: Thank you
seeker: I am thinking of sharing your comments as testament on faith. Do you mind?
kanzensakura: Not at all because I know it is God, His grace and love that not only did I survive but what is most amazing, is the tumor that was the size of a tennis ball and lymph glands that were all infected prior to the surgery; when the MD went in, the tumor had shrunk and the lymph glands were clean.
My mother and husband said when he came to them after surgery, he was so amazed and kept thinking of scans and x-rays earlier.
They knew a miracle had occurred. I truly do praise God for His love for me.
seeker: God is good, all the time!
” When a woman ceases to alter the fashion of her hair, you guess that she has passed the crisis of her experience.” Mary Hunter Austin The Land of Little Rain,’The Basket Maker’.
“Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalms 71:18
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
It is true. All prisoners, myself included, constantly wait to be let go. I decided then and there that my captivity would not be merely a time of resignation but a turning point in my life. I decided I would not wait. I would live the present moment and fill it with love. For if I wait, the things I wait for will never happen. The only thing that I can be sure of is that I am going to die.
No, I will not spend time waiting. I will live the present moment and fill it with love.
When the Communists put me in the hold of the boat, the Hai-Phong, along with 1500 other prisoners and moved us to the North, I said to myself, “Here is my cathedral, here are the people God has given me to care for, here is my mission: to ensure the presence of God among these, my despairing, miserable brothers. It is God’s will that I am here. I accept his will”. And from that minute onwards, a new peace filled my heart and stayed with me for thirteen years.
The words of Bishop John Walsh, who had been imprisoned for 12 years in Communist China, Waiting in captivity.
Be honest now and do tell.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking.
There is beauty and goodness right where we are.
And only when we can see the beauty and goodness
that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness
on our travels far and wide.
There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire;
most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness.
They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.
Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness
surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects.
But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that
we need a vacation to restore ourselves.
Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us
before we go elsewhere to look for it.
by: Henri Nouwen
“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e.e. cummings”
How much nature do you need? For me, I need it!
When I am not working, I spend most of my time in nature. Being in nature makes me happier, healthier and peaceful. Nature can be just our backyard. One can spend the entire weekend gardening getting my hands dirty. And that’s exactly what I did this past long weekend.
David Suzuki suggests that we take the nature challenge by going outside to:
- smell the flowers
- find the bug
- fly a kite
- write and sketch in the park
- identify the trees
- listen to the wind
- skip some stones
- get my feet wet
- take photos
And much more.
More than likely, I will be spending more time outside and it will take me away from WordPress. So my friends, if you don’t hear from me, I’m in the garden.
source: Incidental Comics
January 19, 1936
My dear Dr. Einstein,
We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.
We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?
We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.
January 24, 1936
I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:
Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.
However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.
But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.
With cordial greetings,
your A. Einstein
source: brain pickings
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ― Pablo Picasso
An artist brought the Social Studies curriculum to life by reading a variety of legends and showed her own collection of Aboriginal masks to the Grade 4/5 students. She modelled building the mask using poster board, paper mâché, glue, rice paper and paint to decorate the mask.
As the students learn the Aboriginal culture and create their own Aboriginal masks, they make the subject come alive through their own creativity. The project also helps stimulate an interest in other cultures that enriches the students. Art projects give students the opportunity to embrace self-discovery and to make meaning from the world around them.
“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”
― Anne Herbert
Books are here to stay.
via: Burnaby Public Library
Think purple, Wear purple. It’s a purple kind of day.
May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Please wear purple to create awareness and help find a cure.
And to lighten up a heavy topic, humour is the best medicine.
10 best things about Fibromyalgia
- I save money on magazines. With brain fog, I can’t remember what I just read!
- I am a cheap date. No alcohol, no dessert and I still feel drunk or hung over.
- On ‘good day’s I feel wonderful. Other people need a much better day to feel that way.
- I am easy to find…I’m either at the Dr’s office or at home.
- I never have to make my bed because I’ll probably be right back in it.
- I have acquired a great lounging/sleeping wardrobe. I rarely get dressed as nobody ever sees me.
- Disequilibrium saves money on amusement parks. I get the same sensations every time I stand up!
- I feel smarter than my Doctors…all they say is ‘I don’t know’
- With short-term memory impairment I can hide my own Easter eggs and Christmas presents.
- I don’t know what happened to No. 10 as posted to this source: fibrorelief
“Mother’s Day is a personal, family and memorial day. It’s a celebration for sons and daughters; a thank offering for the blessings of good homes.
“Make Mother’s Day a family day of reunions, messages to the absent and the spirit of good will to all. It is a constructive movement emphasising the home as the highest inspiration of our individual and national lives. Mother’s Day is a day of sentiment — not sentimentality; a day for everybody, but is well named Mother’s Day, for where better can sentiment start?,”
Jarvis told the Miami Daily News in a heated interview in 1924 to make a stand defending Mother’s Day against turning it into a “hallmark” occasion.
If you hate the commercialism of Mother’s Day, then you’re not alone — in fact, you have the ideal person in your corner.
Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, hated it too.
The American woman who single-handedly worked to make Mother’s Day a national holiday was reportedly so disgusted to hear that a department store was having a Mother’s Day sale that she threw her lunch on the floor. Jarvis then dedicated her life to disbanding the day she spent six years campaigning Congress for.
Jarvis’ original intention was that Mother’s Day would be a day to honor the sacrifices women made for their families.
And to add, a comment from Mr. T. of SpeakListenPrayDon’tBeS …
Seeker, well done.
Not just the writing, here.
Well done with your presence,
not just physically present,
but attentive, spiritually present.
The awareness of “the now”,
and the awareness of the “Then” …
The “Then when Mary said Yes.
Have you ever heard people talking about the “here-and-now”?
It is a good concept to work with in the counseling context.
But its not the only context.
We have to look at the “then”,
and we need to look at the “Then”.
Thank you, Mr. T for knowing the real message behind the post here.
From TGIM to TGIF
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ― Nelson Mandela
More than just a character, Holy Molé is a cartoon that represents the place where higher aspirations of existence intertwine with the practicality of everyday living. The two main characters represent this dichotomy and, through their friendship, they find a balance that is essential and love that is enduring. The cartoon is not intended to be religious; rather it represents the archetypical seeker in society striving for meaning in an often-complex world.
Hole Mole reminds us not to take the drama too seriously, or else we may miss the fun – the only true tragedy.
Source: Holy Molé Cartoon
Here’s something to look forward to when you visit Canada in spring. I kid you not, Sakura is all over the place in Canada.
This is just one tree. Imagine walking underneath the boulevard all lined up with Sakura, it’s snowing pink petals.
This is nothing in comparison to my fascination with this yellow flower when I first arrived here in Canada. I just love these Lions of the Spring. One cannot appreciate the beauty of Cherry blossoms without having to fall for these beast.
I heard the faint song of the chickadee. It was the female bird looking very pregnant ready to give birth. She was calling for her mate and he eventually came. Being a male, he took his time in responding to her call.
They are back to nest.
He came to check the house. He turned his tail this way, that way, poked his head inside the hole, tapped the wood, turned some more, moved on top of the house, moved down again on the perch. He was taking forever checking out the house and then he flew away. The female bird was left behind.
Now what! Where on earth did he go? Is he abandoning his future family? What a philandering bird, I thought.
She looked confused. I think I was more confused than the bird and wondered how come he did not go inside the house? She looked so sad. Not her, it’s me that was sad because she flew away as well.
I went out to check the bird house. The old nest was still in there and I don’t see anything nor do I hear anything unusual inside.
Maybe there’s something else other than the old nest. Maybe they don’t like a dirty house. Too man maybe going in my mind and it was actually a simple forgetfulness of doing spring cleaning.
So I cleaned up the house and found out a queen bee inside with a lone slave. Can’t let the queen bee procreate and produce a million minions living in my balcony. Therefore, I let her go and she flew away as fast as she could.
The birds did not return. I will just have to wait for next spring and hopefully remember to do spring cleaning.
“Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.” ~Unknown
Birds on the wires
I would have never thought that these crows can compose a musical score. Through a mere curiosity, this video is created. Just brilliant.
“Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn’t the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.
I sent the music to the photographer, Paulo Pinto, who I Googled on the internet. He told his editor, who told a reporter and the story ended up as an interview in the very same newspaper.
Here I’ve posted a short video made with the photo, the music and the score.”
Also check my live presentation of Birds on the Wires at TEDx São Paulo: tedxsaopaulo.com.br/jarbas-agnelli/
This is a photo of a quote taped on a friend’s favorite spot, her desk.
We read it so many times, make up meanings and meanings change depending in our moods. For most time we make fun out of it.
An ant goes round and round without
Like all beings in the six realms of
Born here and dying there without
Now becoming a hungry ghost, then
If you are searching for freedom from
You must hear the sound of one hand.
These are still resonant words.
Take a break from the clamorous rat
race of modern life.
She was searching for freedom from suffering is the focal point of this quote. Freedom means death. And we both just listened for it to come. And it did come for her and I did not hear it coming.
What is the sound of one hand clapping? Well, it’s actually a sign for the deaf. You raise your hand or hands and start shaking them up in the air. This is how the deaf clap their hands. No sound.
Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.
Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be “redeemed” by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become life saving for us and sometimes for others too.
– Henri J. M. Nouwen
This is no ordinary breakfast.
As you can see
how sorrowful the rest of the eggs are.
Sunny side up or
Food for the soul.
The big message:
that there is something essential
that you only know by dying
to who you think you are!
You really don’t know
what life is
until you know
what death is.
” Death and life are two sides of one coin, and you cannot have one without the other.” Transformative Dying
Image source: Julia Quinn
VANCOUVER — A bus driver has had his faith in people restored after witnessing a rider wearing plastic bags instead of shoes given a surprising gift this holiday weekend — a stranger’s own shoes and socks.
The “soul-touching” interaction Saturday on the No. 341 route, a Coast Mountain Bus Co. driver of 16 years who was off-duty at the time while returning from Surrey B.C.’s Vaisakhi parade.
“It made my heart melt,” “He just took his shoes and socks off and said, ‘You can take these, don’t worry about me — I live close by and can walk.’
“People usually don’t care or even look at other people on the bus, they didn’t even want to sit beside this guy because of how he was dressed.”
The recipient was “shocked” by the gift and afterwards remarked, “What a nice guy… Did that really happen?”
Source: Toronto Sun
Recently, I received an e-mail about “Some Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School” and that Bill Gates gave this speech to a group of graduating high school.
Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!
Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, So don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. (Do that on your own time.)
Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
It sounds really good but I have a hunch it did not come from him, so I snooped around.
As it turned out this list was taken from Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, written by Charles J. Sykes with added three more rules.
Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool.
Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.)
Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school’s a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You’re welcome.
Actually, the only reason why I am posting this is so that I have a photo of him. He is so darn cute!
“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that ,,,,, “
We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
“In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite.”
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” ― Charles Chaplin
“Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.”
Can’t believe how humans were portrayed as cat and dog friend. Hilarious. Viewed over 17 million.
Related article: Thursday – Begin the day…
It’s a dreamy day, a slight dusting of the snow;
The cats are snuggly ensconced on the couch.
On a day like this, I love listening to Rod McKuen.
A writer, a poet, a singer.
I collected so much of his poetry books.
Read and reread it
Pages earmarked on some
Scribbles on the pages of the book
Names of people who I can relate to the poetry
Most of these people are long gone from my life.
Rod kept them alive through his poetry.
It’s kind of silly to keep the memories of the past
And the weight of this is a burden for most times.
I wish I could carry it with a smile just like Buddha
Life doesn’t work out that way, one must let go.
Letting go of the memories starts by letting go of the books.
I gave away all of Rod’s poetry books.
Now I am going home.
“Home is something that you carry in your head
It lives within your heart forever.
And so I know no matter where I go in life
I’m always going home.”
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.
“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.”
Caring about the air, water, and land that give us life.
People on the Earth have not heeded environmental warnings and have lived without protecting their environment for decades. Now, due to a huge hole in the ozone layer, the Earth’s temperature has slowly risen. As a result of this temperature rise, the Earth’s core temperature has risen creating new volcanoes which are erupting everywhere. There is almost complete devastation of the Earth’s surface. However, on one small plot on Earth, a spaceship is equipped for automatic flight to a planet that is similar to Earth.
The only known survivors of the volcanic eruptions are 13 people clamoring to get aboard the spaceship. The problem is that there is only space, oxygen, food and water aboard the spaceship to accommodate 6 people.
The people waiting to get aboard the spaceship are:
- a 59-year old Member of Parliament
- an 18-year old, unmarried pregnant woman who is a high-school dropout
- an African-American third-year veterinary student
- a 30-year old Minister
- a homemaker of 25 years
- a Mayor of a small town in Mexico
- Building Maintenance Engineer
- a 12-year old Australian Aborigine
- a 55-year old grocery store owner
- a 23-year old female school teacher
- a 45-year old male botanist who is confined to a wheelchair
- a 55-year old retired plumber
- President of a Corporation or Union
This material is one of a group exercise in a course I participated. The lives of these 13 people are in our hands. It was a very interesting group dynamic on how we arrived to the chosen ones and the reason behind our choices.
Your turn: who will be the lucky six people you will choose to survive and develop the Brave New World? Feel free to add in a brief explanation of your choice.
Photo Credit: Robert Macky
Once upon a time, my dream house will have a library. The library will be filled with wall to wall and top to bottom room full of books that I collected over the years. And then I discovered the joy of going to the library. I ended giving away most of my books to goodwill and kept the children’s books.
I never outgrew The Little Prince, All things bright and beautiful, I like you because and The man who planted trees. These books have taught me more than any self-help books that I’ve read. Besides, I love the pictures. It is true that pictures say a thousand words and I can create a different story just by looking at them.
Image source: Jemima’s Journal
I can dream, can’t I?
I still have yet to learn
grammar, composition and spelling.
Source: Amanda: Smile if you’re a writer