Beauty in a troubled times …

As anyone who’s been following me knows, I haven’t blogged in a long while. Honestly, I haven’t been inspired. But a friend just sent me a poem Anderson Cooper (a CNN anchor for those unfamiliar with him) read on air last week. It was written by Brother Richard Hendrick. It made me tear up, it gave me goosebumps and it reminded me that despite what we are all going through — all the suffering and uncertainty and fear — there is still beauty in this world and there is still a lot to be grateful for:

Lockdown by Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

March 13th 2020

 

Just when you’re ready to give up …

It feels like the whole world is in shambles. It doesn’t matter in which country you live, there’s another crisis every day and scandals more often than that. Lying and cheating have become the new normal.  I’ve never seen so much lawlessness, so much anger, hatred and cruelty.

Everywhere I turn, including online in comments I read on various posts, articles and blogs, people are mean-spirited, aggressive, antagonistic and rude. Like they’re just spoiling for a fight. Disagree with something or someone and you can expect to be attacked, abused actually — verbally and Continue reading

Go on give it a try.

I think this is a message the world needs to hear more now, than ever. So today I’m turning my blog over to Chris Black, “the poet’s poet,” who I’ve been following here on WordPress for six years. Enjoy, and do as the man says: “Smile.”

Today from the Man Shed

Live life with a smile

This will assist you

As you walk that weary mile

A door never closes

But another opens

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Bring happiness with you as you go

That burden may be heavy

Stand upright, face that foe

Turning your back is not the answer

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Learn not to recoil

As you step out into a new dawn

Smile instead of yawn

You have made it through another night

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Although at times it’s burdensome

That cross we have to bear

There is always someone less well off

Their cross they may wish to share

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Spread the happiness within you around

Put a spring in your step…

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When everything goes wrong…

I haven’t ever re-blogged a post because this space has always been about sharing my own thoughts and feelings. But I am so inspired by this blog post, written by a blogger I have followed for years about her son, I just have to share it. If this doesn’t inspire you to just go for it then nothing will. A perfect story for the start of a new year and all the possibilities it holds …

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“Just let me know when you’ve arrived…” Those words are spoken, in the most casual manner possible, by every parent when one of their offspring goes off on an adventure. The apparent nonchalance masks all sorts of worry, panic, imagined scenarios and disasters, even though you know they are no more than chimera.

He’d booked everything at budget prices, so there was no direct flight. At stopover of five hours in Muscat would not allow him to see anything of the place and just added to the fatigue of the journey.  But, when you know they have landed in foreign climes, (because you are watching the live flight updates, and they are now running nearly a further six hours late) and the phone remains silent for an eternity, the real panic sets in. Especially when said offspring is travelling with a wheelchair.

By the time you actually hear from…

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Got my mojo back …

Well, at least my cooking mojo. It’s so bizarre. I’ve always loved to cook. For as long as I can remember, every month I’d drool my way through the latest issues of Gourmet, Bon Appetit and STIRFRYFine Cooking magazines. I couldn’t pass a cookbook store without stopping, looking and buying. I was addicted to the Food Network on TV.

Which isn’t surprising when you consider I grew up in a family who loved to think about, shop for, prepare, cook and eat food. And share it with countless friends, colleagues and family members. My mother was a fabulous cook — as were my grandmothers and aunts and cousins on both sides.

I loved to have dinner parties and enjoyed thinking about what I’d make as much as the eventual sitting at the table. Truth be told, I may have enjoyed the planning even more. Thumbing through recipes, consulting with my mother and yes, even my father, who was the ultimate shopper of fine foods. The best

Continue reading

Giving it up is never easy …

What better time to talk about successfully giving anything up, then fresh on the heels of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death?  So when I was cigarette buttlooking for a little inspiration this morning, and came across this WordPress Daily Prompt, I knew I had to talk about my experience giving up smoking:

Not that smoking is, in any way, as difficult to give up,  as heroin.  Or as serious an addiction.  But make no mistake.  It is still an addiction.

When most of my high school friends smoked, I had no interest.  Of course back then, no one knew it was bad for you.  Everybody smoked.  Doctors and nurses smoked.  Athletes smoked.  Celebrities Continue reading

Do clothes make the man (or woman)?

How objective can you be about yourself?  I often ‘stand outside of myself’ and observe.  It’s something I really like to do and I can be very honest personalstylewith myself, about myself.  So, needless to say, I loved the WordPress Daily Prompt from January 8:  “Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.”

My ‘look’ has evolved and changed hundreds of times during my lifetime.  I’d be bored to tears if I always looked the same.  Wouldn’t you?

Apparently I was always determined to create my own style — even as far back as when I was a toddler.  My mother used to tell me she’d pick out an outfit and I’d shake my head “no”; and insist Continue reading

Now all I need is waterproof ink …

Funny, I was recently having a conversation with a former colleague about this very subject, and what do you know — it turns up as a Daily Prompt:  shower“When and where do you do your best thinking?  In the bathroom?  While running?  Just before bed, or first thing in the morning?  On the bus?  Why do you think that is?”

For me, it’s in the shower.  There I am, steaming hot water pounding down on me, drenching my hair, cascading down my face, releasing all the tension in my neck and shoulders.  I turn this way and that, making sure every inch of me gets wet.  Making sure every inch of me gets massaged.  Pummelled.  Relaxed.  Rejuvenated.

Without even realizing it, I sigh with pleasure. Continue reading

What’s it take to get an “A”?

Interesting question posed on the WordPress Daily Prompt last weekend:  “What would it take for you to consider yourself a successful blogger?  Is that gold starssomething you strive for?”

I guess, until you answer the second part of the question, there’s no point in answering the first.  So.  When you decided to blog, did you have a goal?  An objective?  A desired outcome?  Do you want your blog to provide you with some income at some point?

Here’s what I wanted; and still want, for that matter.  And, also, what I’m not expecting:

Right off the top I never, not even for a moment, thought of my blog as a way to earn money.  At least not directly, through ads.   If, on the other hand, a client, or even a prospective client, was to read my blog and like my writing enough to give me an assignment, I’d be delighted.  If my blog opens a door to my writing articles for either on-or-offline publications, it would be amazing.

That would certainly result in a gold star.

It’s not the only reason I began blogging, though. Continue reading

Look for me under the bed

No, I’m not looking for one of my cats.  Not looking for a pair of missing shoes.  Not hiding from my cleaning lady, or anyone else.  And I’m definitely not fullmoondusting thoroughly, either.

I’m just responding to a recent WordPress Daily Prompt:  “When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are.  Describe this new you.”

It’s not that I’m so different.  It’s not like I turn into a werewolf or anything.  It’s not like I get drunk after only one glass of wine, when the moon’s full.  Or start behaving like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

No, it’s nothing like that.  I am just aware of its presence.  Even if I don’t look up and see it.  I just know it’s there.  Hanging over me like a curtain.  A weight.  A pressure.  A weirdness.  A nuisance.  A trouble-maker.  A Continue reading