March 31, 2007
Those are the choices I make to maintain serenity today.
March 30, 2007
Wasting innocent souls such as these is just wicked. As a sometime animal rescuer I feel the loss of habitat and space available cause these devastating migrations from one side of the road to the other. And I feel helpless to stop these mass deaths. Progress, the bottom line, humanity feeling itself above animals? So what to do? Not much. Just grieve and do what I can. And ultimately realize that life and death are two sides of the same coin. Two manifestations of spirit. But that is cold comfort both for me and the dead duck. Sigh.
I have sat in seiza all my life. When I would embroider, when I would watch tv, when I work with shy animals who need humans on the ground. But now in addition to dealing with orphan syndromes like myofascial which seems tough for physicians to diagnose and the insurance covered physical therapists to know how to treat, I need to learn how to change my habits.
So what else is new? Change is constant, it is just the way I need to adapt. Adaptability -- lack or inability killed the dinosaurs. Will it kill me if I don't flow with the changes of aging? Absolutely. Aging and resentments about it are useless however. Coping skills like marking when to take that pesky osteoporosis pill are more useful.
Personally, for me? As a word nerd, his last name says volumes...Samson.
So who was Mr. Samson's Delilah? Was it Monica G? Probably not. My vote is for Harriet Myers. So stay tuned...who knows? This scandal might just bring down the temple.
Coyotes are a thing of the past when this kind of worker im-portation can be done legally by corporate entities and a profit gained from the practice. But how safe can the rest of us feel when the least of us is mistreated? The answer to that is not safe, not safe at all.
March 29, 2007
But my questions for today are many. I perceive a clear and present danger to the survival of the United States with the accelerating offshore and outsourcing being done. For instance, how on earth can we address Homeland (ha) Security (a clear oxymoron) if our businesses choose to send personal financial information off shore? How can we say we are safe?
In many ways, Ms. Grandin's book touches onto this problem of workplace "Fungible-ity," albeit indirectly. As workers we are replaceable by others of similar titles. One size fits all. As a citizen Ms. Grandin's book touches on how I often feel shunted into oblivion by the way the government views the health care issues that government accountants blame on the Medicare Generation. Hell, I am a member of the Almost Medicare Generation and frankly I fear that those of us who make it to 65 will be given Jim Jones KoolAide. We worker bees have become numbers in this society and as such affect the Bottom Line. From health care to PeopleSoft to individual perspectives on life, we have been diminished by American society's obsession about low cost high return to investors. Is it cost-productive to pay a U.S. worker or better for the stockholders if we off-shore and outsource the expense? Fungible is just business, just the American bottom line.
For further education, here is a website on meanings:
March 28, 2007
March 27, 2007
And yes, it is a fundamentally 4 H idea. Here is their link: http://www.national4-hheadquarters.gov/. The difference is the word health in theirs and harness in mine. Here is their pledge which seems very worthy to me.
I Pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
(Mil.) a line drawn within or around a military prison, to cross which involves for a prisoner the penalty of being instantly shot.
The link above is to the word of the night and reminds me that sometimes seasons and the holidays that celebrate them are like deadlines around the soul. Seasons and celebrations mark new beginnings or times to let go. Passover -- new beginnings. Funerals --Times to let go. Lines, deadlines, lines in the sand, lights in the soul. How to explain to my soul that the death this year was a planned one, a scheduled one, a reasoned one? There is no way to explain that. Not on my level. Cherubim might understand it. But I only know that the arms of the angels encircle us at all times and when I am sad like this I need to hold those arms tightly so I don't fall off into the dark. Amen and Amen and may we all know peace.
March 25, 2007
So Buddhism is right -- one action leads to another -- choose carefully -- but choose and keep moving.
Some archaeologists now theorize that these deaths of the Egyptians can be explained by studying the lakes that killed some 1800 people in Africa. http://www.semp.us/securitas/2005nov-dec.html
These archaeologists theorize that the high born sons of nobles and the Pharaoh were always placed in the honored positions near the earth when they went to sleep. And that night was no different in schedule for them. The difference for the Jewish babies was that everyone stayed up to celebrate the passing over by G*d in the form of the Angel of Death. So the babies were in the arms of the adults and nowhere near the earth. They did not breathe in the fumes. Here is a link to the website for the Naked Archaeologist so check the episode yourself:
The Naked Archaeologist
Shot on location in Israel, Egypt and Greece, The Naked Archaeologist airs on ... like the Biblical slaughter of Israel's firstborn sons and the murder of ...www.visiontv.ca/Media/Releases/Naked_Archaeologist%20.html - 14k
Me? I have no idea one way or the other about this theory but it is interesting to me because this year death has been very much a toxic presence in my family. Those we never expected to die are dead in less than 3 months and those we figured would go on a long time have now been in the hospital 2x for various scary sounding procedures. Pulmonary embolism, coronary heart disease, cancer. 2007 is a very leaky year. Folks I have known well for years are gone, folks I wanted very much to get to know better are gone, folks who made a place a home are just gone. And here comes Passover on its annual ambit to remind me that life is not a guarantee. Every day is a gift. And every gift is what you make of it. Use your gifts wisely.
So how well do I work under stress? It depends on how often I pray or meditate, how often I read, how often I watch the critters around me and how often I release my creative muse and write or draw. It is no secret that I love comparing words that sound the same.
So my words for today are prey or pray just like the cat at the top. Praying gets me above my problem long enough to look at whether I will become prey to it or not. The more detached I am, the clearer my thinking becomes and the less likely my emotions will jump me like a lion on lunch. Crunch!
And, as I reach out, I heal myself. So in researching resources for widows here is what I found today...
It is probably not good right now but possibly may be useful in the future.
March 22, 2007
I am agog.....awesome!!!
I could go on and on about Buddhism ... but for true knowledge check out these websites for more enlightenment. http://www.geocities.com/the_wanderling/awakened.html
I often find what I need rather than what I want when I look on the internet. The gift I work on everyday is recognizing that what I need isn't necessarily what I want.
March 21, 2007
And speaking of Hearts, it is no laughing matter, folks, laughing really does reduce stress, exercise your body and help you live longer. To get more laughs in your life, listen to comedians. One of them, Bill Cosby did a hilarious skit called "Chicken Heart." FYI, You can find Bill Cosby CDs on Amazon. What you want to look for is Bill Cosby as himself. He is very funny, very wise, and worth hearing to learn how to realize that you are never alone in dealing with life. Or, if you like political satire, you just can't go wrong with Tom Lehrer. He still has a cult following (I'm one of 'em) who absolutely love the work he did back in the 1960s. So take two laughs and Hang in there.
... We implore you, dear Lord, to empower our prayer for the animals. Help us awaken humans to their plight. Give comfort to those suffering and dying daily in shelters everywhere. Protect those who are without homes. Intervene for those who live in houses where there is cruelty and neglect. Save a special place by Your side for those in laboratories. Help us raise the consciousness in this country and, finally, this world that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment upon or exploit in any way. These beautiful, helpless and defenseless souls have every right to live, be loved and properly cared for. Help us to extend our circle of compassion to include all living beings, but especially Your animals.
Namaste skibum1960 -9/28/2000
March 20, 2007
Anyway, the martin is closely related to weasels. I think weasels get a bad reputation from doing what weasels do. After all, a critter has to be quick, aggressive, sneaky and courageous to survive these days. So it seems a shame that the word now has a second meaning...
To weasel out of something or to use weasel words. For instance, when I listen to the President explain how he will not allow Congress to subpoena any of the White House staff to explain under oath what their reasoning was in the firing of the 8 DOJ prosecutors. This reeks of weaselling to me. Given how beautiful this little pine martin/weasel fellow is to the right, it is a shame I would use his name to describe really unprofessional behavior on the part of the White House to protect incompetence (on the best view of it) or utterly criminal behavior (on the worst view of it).
I say: Free the weasels and pine martins from this kind of human behavior.
March 19, 2007
March 18, 2007
Little lies we tell ourselves...engage our pride because we want to believe we are what we tell ourselves we are. When I tell myself I am strong, I don't mind being alone, I can deal with anything that comes along...these are good lies. When I tell myself I am not those things ... those are bad lies. But whatever lies I tell myself, when I work through loss and sit with grief, I need to let go of my pride so I let go of denial. You remember denial? It translates into (Don't even Know I am Lying). Sitting with grief...means facing how we actually are -- not how we wish we were. That's why it is so important to let those who go through loss feel numbness, feel loss, feel anger, feel pain, feel separation, feel whatever they want to feel. It is a path like the labrinynth at Church. To be gone through alone with the prayers of those who have gone through before surrounding them. Amen.
March 17, 2007
March 16, 2007
This current situation with the 8 prosecutors kicked up a phrase I last heard back in the Watergate period of my life. Let me backtrack. My first vote ever was for Nixon. I was young. I was from a Republican family. I was happy to vote Republican. Nixon was a bloody deflowering of my youthful vote.
And now the Bush administration is saying this firing has nothing to do with politics. That it is exactly what Clinton did. Each time the Administration speaks to this issue however the number of attorneys fired goes up. First it was 93, today is more than that. No doubt about it...the Bushies are math challenged. First the number of Iraq citizens killed in friendly fire and now the number of attorneys who were fired by Clinton.
So for the Bush Administration to claim that this time the firing is the same as that time is disingenuous at the very least and a bald-faced lie at the worst. Whatever it is, it's amazing. The bigger the lie (see prewar WWII Germany), the more people believe it. The more media is consolidated into Fox News and concentrated into various outlets, the more the people lose their ability to make considered judgments on news from different sources.
Don't settle for the easy answers just because Fox News or Bush says so. Think. Because we all pay when we don't pay attention.
March 15, 2007
Pet-Abuse.Com - Animal Abuse Case Details: 650 dogs and cats ...
Read it for yourselves. But I warn you do so at your own risk. It requires a very strong stomach because it is very very sick. Rescue groups are going through their lists to see if she was ever an adopter from their organization. This is just a horrible situation.
Truly evil people like this are so much easier to throw stones at than the equivocal evils of treating foreign workers as badly as the government has in Massachusetts. Viewed against the equivocal evil of the government, actions by this woman in Columbus are refreshingly devilish. After all, the woman just killed animals -- right?
March 14, 2007
And I am so angry at the cancer that killed you that I want to scratch out the eyes of every single cancer cell I meet on the street. This, I know, is completely unrealistic. Cancer cells don't wander around on the street. But I sure wish they did. I don't think I have ever felt this way about a disease before. You were such a gentle kind soul. And now? Gone. Just like I wish 2007 was. Until we all meet again, Dan, love from this end of the family to you, my sister, your cats and your family. Until then...
Felix says -- bumper stickers are back because people are angry. Dunno if that's true but I am seeing plenty more bumpers covered with stickers the longer the Iraq war continues. If the Dems don't get a handle on how to end it, the sticker-ing will start to cover entire cars in my area. Felix feels that we should start by continuing to support the troops with food and armor and whatever else they need but start pulling them back to the borders. Meanwhile, we need to cut the budget for the president, vice president and any other cabinet members to fly on these lame duck term junkets. South America -- please. Give me a break. Negotiating? Hah. Felix and I both feel the best defense to keep from looking terminally stupid to the rest of the world is to seriously think about giving Texas back to the Mexicans. Just a modest proposal.
March 13, 2007
March 12, 2007
Here you go...
March 11, 2007
The cats I have rescued are no where near the slow blinking stage. They pant when they are picked up. They need catnip toys to tussle with to drain off excess fear. But after a time (variable for each) they become slow blinkers. Still independent, still free to walk away, but much more interactive. In fact, I feel sad for people who want to adopt a cat that is immediately interactive because they miss so much of the journey into the life of another soul.
So how does that rescue reaction of patience spill into my own life? It teaches me how to deal with my feelings of sadness, of fear, of pride, of inadequacy. I have a long standing habit of turning feelings into pain because it is easier for me to deal with pain than to deal with feelings. And it is a habit. When I first started working with rescue, I noticed I wasn't hurting as much. I began to develop more patience being able to sit with my own emotional reactions to fear and the others instead of rushing to turn the emotion into physical pain which I can use to run away from people and animals both.
March 10, 2007
That just goes to the core of what I have been pondering today. Creditors, language, rescue, changing attitudes all have one aspect in common -- truth. If I am not truthful with my language I mislead not only others but myself. If I am not truthful with my creditors, I wind up in debt. If I am not committed and truthful about saving animals, I will not go on rescue drives. If I am not truthful about what bugs me or what helps me, then how can I change my attitude. Truth is a large part of the equation. Acceptance is on the other side of the balance beam, though. If truth is my goal, then I must accept what is true to be able to put that new attitude, that new truth, that new rescue, that new phrase into action. And sometimes, going into action with that truth is just like the quote above -- "In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow -- and that is likely to hurt."
I am a driver today. Going 60 miles south to pick up two dogs. I will attach their pictures once the ride is over to this post. I don't know the dogs yet. But from having done this for just about a year I do know one thing. They will be very grateful and sweet. And I will have put them on a new path. And frankly that's the greatest reward I can have these days. From despair to love.
But I couldn't pick up the dogs today. Ivy was sick and couldn't come up. So I did what I could and went to the local shelter where FIV cats have a house of their own. I went there and snuggled in with them on the couch. And it was enough for today.
March 9, 2007
Your soul was born in the world of shadows, for your entire life, you have never really been noticed or given much attention to. You are probably a very quiet person and probably have pretty good marks. You are cautious of what others think of you so are often very withdrawn from others, so you are often alone or wit ha couple of friends. In class activities, you are most likely too shy to answer a question even if you know the answer. You are calm and understanding, and will probably realize how much talent you have if you open up.
Quote: Loneness kills, there is just no one there to notice it.
Element:Water, calm and serene, yet powerful
Ability:Invisibility, to get closer without being noticed.
Mythical Creature/Being:Spirit, there but unoticed.
Gem:Tourmaline, tranquility, serenity
A government which rounds up illegal immigrants and callously refuses for mothers to go to their daycare to collect 7 month old babies who are now in hospital suffering from dehydration is worse. I am coming to the inevitable conclusion that I do not know these people who say they are Americans anymore. And by Americans I mean the ones who are doing the collecting of the aliens for the government. Who are these people? For more information on current events like this, here is the link to today's Boston Globe:
I ask again, who are these people who call themselves Americans? Here are a few words on the side of justice :
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:23 ***You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow's garment in pledge. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. Deuteronomy 24:17-18 ***Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 16:20
In the Morning
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly; If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. If I am to do nothing, help me to do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the spirit of your love. Amen.
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.
Word of the Day for Me: Tunes. Tuning in and tuning out. Tuning an instrument. Tuning forks. You might ask, why tunes? Because tuning relates to hearing. Tuning an orchestra. Listening to the song the orchestra creates. Tuning a chorus to a certain key. Making sure everyone sings in harmony. Or turning inside to tune into my feelings. Tuning in to myself helps me balance my feelings as I approach life with a positive attitude. I can "tune out" negative people and news much better when I have a positive attitude. And there is just so much to tune out these days. NPR had a segment on the upcoming apocalypse. Good grief. Or not "good" grief. If I listen to NPR, the world will end in less than 5 years. Serious news? I think not. NPR becomes more entertainment than news each time I listen to it. Arrrggh. So tuning in to my irritation means I tune out and turn away from what I used to think was useful information. And tune in to more positive forces that help me feel better -- Buddhism, oriental art, sumei painting, cats, rescue and drawing.
March 8, 2007
But I have ringing in the ears from all the Excedrin I take during the day to deal with muscle aches. And the ringing is in the same register or key as normal conversation level voices so one noise blanks out the other. I really need to learn to lip read to compensate for this.
On the other hand, I am not so sure that not hearing voices is such a bad thing. I won't ever be burned at the stake like Joan of Arc, I won't ever be committed to a nut house for hearing voices (I may be committed for other things perhaps) and I won't have to be bored by the political debates because I can tune them out.
See the quotations page for more from Murrow about reporters and reporting.....
Recently, though, my daughter went to college. And in the empty space she left behind, I have discovered rescuing animals. And in doing that I have found grace and self-love which allows me to see things like life and loss in a bigger picture. In Buddhism there is a goddess of compassion. Her name is Quan Yin. Compassion = Grace. I often find myself thinking about her as I go through my day and those thoughts level out my mood and attitude.
Finding Serenity...Getting the heart, head and hands harnessed together. Not as easy as it sounds. At least for me. My favorite way to start re-balanced myself when I realize I am living too much in either place is to start writing. I pick two words that sound alike, e.g., pray or prey, and write about them. Inevitably I begin to write about what is bugging me. I flow into that part of myself that needs attention. That part of me that dreams quietly and runs me ragged with resentments and petty jealousies and fears.
Of course, there are lots of parts to getting balanced. Eating, sleeping, exercise, singing in my car, drawing, reading, looking at pictures and working with my hands. My favorite " must check" websites are bbc.com, bbc Scotland, DailyZen.com, refdesk.com, Daily Om, my Google Home page, or somethingfishy.com.
Meditate instead of medicate... So, did you meditate today? Or was it tough to touch base? Hang in there......and try reading a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. This is a classic book that teaches how to enhance creativity and artistic confidence. There are remarkable drawing exercises that not only teach how to draw but how to meditate as well.
Until then Read, Relax, Believe, Be Aware, instead of Beware. Chill.