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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ripples And Sunbeams

It is National Poetry Month and several of the blogs I follow are sharing poems from various sources. Paul offered this one this morning about the impacts of our smiles and kindness. Just ripple today and influence others.

GYA today





Drop a pebble in the water,
And its ripples reach out far;
And the sunbeams dancing on them
May reflect them to a star.

Give a smile to someone passing,
Thereby making his morning glad;
It may greet you in the evening
When your own heart may be sad.

Do a deed of simple kindness;
Though its end you may not see,
It may reach, like widening ripples,
Down a long eternity.

—Joseph Norris

photo credit: Colin70  fotocommunity

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Cutting Loose

Only four students attended today. These students struggle with school for various reasons. I think it is because they are cast aside by adults. They want adults in their lives to set boundaries and be real. I asked a student what he had learned after we completed a Math question together. He responded you are always right, meaning me. I made a mistake in my calculations. We laughed. I told another student I did not like Math when I went to school either. When adults lighten up and are genuine they make an impact on children who need help.

William Stafford reminded us to be genuinely human, cut loose, and have fun. Parker Palmer suggested: “Teachers live on the most vulnerable intersection of public and private life.” Yes, we are vulnerable , but children and adolescents smell the disingenuous when we are not authentic.

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path — but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.

its good to have

What a great sentiment to begin the day. Sometimes finding the humour in one’s life and laughing along with it is important. Smile and enjoy your day.

Realm of Empress Musie

its good to have the power
to laugh at small things
to have those make you laugh
around you
to make you laugh
when the world is really gloomy
or truly painful
its good to have
beautiful things around you
to charm you
when darkness creeps in
trying to paint world black
its good to have
habits that make you happy
to pull you out of quagmire
of boredom or pain

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Music on Mondays — When the night is cloudy

Russel tells a beautiful and short story from his life as a segue to three Beatles videos which are always worth listening.

Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In September 1965, while living in Brigham City, Utah, my parents put me in the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, Utah, about 20 miles away. I don’t know if they put me there voluntarily or whether the State of Utah took possession of me and placed me there because my parents could not control me. I was a serious juvenile delinquent — arson, breaking & entering, burglary, robbery, forgery. You name it, and except for rape and murder, I did it by the time I was 11.

At the time, The Dee, now called McKay-Dee Hospital Center, had one of the nation’s only behavioral health care programs for youth.

While I was in the Dee, I met Barbara Hunt, an 18-year-old woman from Bakersfield, California. She also was a ward of the hospital. Barbara befriended me and introduced me to The Beatles who had recently invaded America. Sounds…

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Cloud Painter

I came across this thought-provoking poem that reminded me of a post several days ago, Slowly, Slowly Wisdom Gathers. We to lay on our backs and let clouds above drift across the sky. They paint their pictures in that blue; we remember our stories in them as we close our eyes, and we drift along with them. We know something is beyond the horizon of both the sky and our immediate life. Slowly, it drifts into view and it sharpens with detail as it enters this moment only to drift away. Nothing is permanent. Everything is transient. Jane Flanders wrote this poem as a testament to clouds and life move serenely across the canvases they rest upon.

At first, as you know, the sky is incidental–

a drape, a backdrop for the trees and steeples.
Here an oak clutches a rock (already he works outdoors),
a wall buckles but does not break,
water pearls through a lock, a haywain trembles.

The pleasures of landscape are endless. What we see
around us should be enough.
Horizons are typically high and far away.

Still, clouds let us drift and remember. He is, after all,
a miller’s son, used to trying
to read the future in the sky, seeing instead
ships, hornes, instruments of flight.
Is that his mother’s wash flapping on the line?
His schoolbook, smudged, illegible?

In this period, the sky becomes significant.
Cloud forms are technically correct–mares’ tails
sheep-in-the-meadow, thunderheads.
You can almost tell which scenes have been interrupted
by summer showers.

How his young wife dies.
His landscapes achieve belated success.
His is invited to join the Academy. I forget
whether he accepts or not.

In any case, the literal forms give way
to something spectral, nameless. His palette shrinks
ti gray, blue, white–the colors of charity.
Horizons sink and fade,
trees draw back till they are little more than frames,
then they too disappear.

Finally the canvas itself begins to vibrate
with waning light,
as if the wind could paint.
And we too, at last, stare into a space
which tells us nothing,
except that the world can vanish along with our need for it.

“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be awareness behind them.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Be present to myself first and I will be present to the universe and all beings.

Be present to myself first and I will be present to the universe and all beings.

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As Kingfishers Catch Fire

I was reading blogs and came across a quote which, in turn, led me to this beautiful poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I enjoy the mystery of the universe around me. Part of that mystery is the role we play and how we come to learn it or, for that matter, accept it. Thomas Merton, the Trappist Monk, in No Man is an Island, wrote some people are called and hear their call clearly. We are this person, this being, and are called to serve the world in these roles. He quipped for some the calling is to search and never find a calling. Hopkins and Merton were influenced by various schools of mysticism and this takes me back to the mystery of life as I head off on my digital sabbath.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;

Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —

Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

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