To Be Unburdened

A collage of my cousin Adriana, her daughter, Monica, and her husband, Dan.  I love them.

Today is Orthodox Easter.  The greeting in Romanian  is “Hristos A Inviat!” Christ is Risen!

The response : “Advevarat A Inviat!” Indeed He is Risen!

My cousin Adriana Muntean from Constanta, Romania, sent me a text…and I’ll try to translate it:  The whiskered bunny is a  lucky omen on Easter…  He does not leave presents in your boots…  He has other secrets…  “pasca” a soft braided bread filled with cheese…  red eggs, and “cozonac” similar to the Italian “panettone” sweet bread with raisins or nuts…  roasted lamb…  and a Happy Easter…  It all rhymes and sounds like a jingle.

What matters most is that Adriana thought to send me the message…  Unburdened by the weight of the reality the family experienced due to my mother and father leaving Romania, my cousin’s husband called and I spoke with all of them, including my Tanti Lila.   They did not hold a grudge.  They forgave my parents.  My grandfather was imprisoned for years.

“When inward tenderness finds the secret hurt, pain itself will crack the rock and AH! let the soul emerge.” _Rumi  Keep Reading

Tactfulness in Toe

Lucretia manages to play the piano and sometimes even sings… She has a sense for people and knows just how to be in good company…
“In the battle of existence,
Talent is the punch;
Tact is the clever footwork.” _ Wilson Mizner

It is like a Tic Tac Toe  game and the perfect alignment says BINGO!

I have a short story to share, thank God, and three fabulous quotes for your consideration…

Trust me when I say that not being tactful has left me out in the cold.  When my toes got stepped on, I made as big a fuss as the hens and rooster combined to announce a new egg!

See how kind I can be?  Truth being told, I may have crossed the line a few times when my rights were vandalized, but that was then and this is now.

To have been on the receiving end of a tactful response is where I want to go, just to be sure we can feel at ease about certain conversations.  I simply love a good story.

I wish I could take back things I have said yet I am glad I didn’t stay silent.  Ulcers erupt in the bellies of people who hold a grudge, and I am all for home remedies.  If it “ouches,” I ouch the loudest even though I am relatively quiet.  I bet you are no different.

You got to inhale before reading the next sentence; it is delightfully constructed to drive a point…

Lucretia from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, is the authentic version of a diplomat whose entire life mimics the gently flowing streams amid the pebbles along trails in North Dakota… and Colorado.  She is the butterfly in a fairy tale…

I came upon such streams in awe of their clarity, their sound, their hues… and their form so decorative, I trust angels must step into the flow of the aqua to dance , and wave their wings as a reprieve, or for an encore. Well, that is how I remember my centenarian friend.  The last time I spoke with her on the phone, she simply stated she has to stick around to cheer up the old folks.  She is a legend to me and I will always remember our last get together. Keep Reading

Sincerely Yours

 

Once or twice this side of life, we come across a beautiful scene, an unforgettable person, an unexplainable bliss filled moment, and/or the sinking into the life of another being’s sorrow in total empathy.  Each are defining moments that we revisit when time slides into memories.

I searched for so many self-help methods, I remember being admonished for doing so.  I don’t know if I was more surprised that it should have been a bad thing, or if I felt shyly embarrassed; in retrospect, maybe both.  Ironically, the process served me well.

At a group therapy session, we were asked to close our eyes and visualize a place we would like to be in for a half an hour, preferably one that delighted us in some way.  I still go there to fall asleep in prayer.

My God parents visited us in Sao Paulo just before we moved to Niteroi. It was then that we went to Araruama. My father must have taken the photo. My mother is to the left in white.

The pure white sand beach glistened even below the clear emerald and aquamarine water.

The see-through colors at the Araruama beach in Brazil was empty except for tall bales of wind swept salt foams.

I ran through them and heard their soft cracking like chimes and felt enveloped as if inside a translucent bubble.

I ran into the water and floated so easily as the salt held me up me like a feather.

With eyes open below the water, I found a few treasured shells, and I still have them.

Somewhere behind me stood my parents and Godparents.   Keep Reading

The Price for Responsibility

Get it right as soon as possible.  We are given three things but not the other three needed; as soon as we realize that, we must take responsibility.  I read this in Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged as it is told by the character John Galt.  I extracted just these three points because I believe they help our understanding of the need to be responsible

We are given a life but not our survival.

We are given a body but not its sustenance.

We are given a mind but not its content.

Ultimately, the mind is the tool for our survival.  We do what we must  and to travel life’s journey successfully, and I believe we must make time to be in the presence of God.  There is no escaping His presence, only denying it.  That is a choice each person carries until death.  Thereafter, we meet our Maker. Keep Reading

How Quick is Quickly?

” Bulls do not win bull fights. People do.”
_Norman Ralph Augustine

Are there things that can be done well and quickly? Depends.  I may be good at slicing fruits and vegetables.  I have the broom’s handle mastered.  Given proper training and persistent practice, we can get good at doing things fast.

To be quick in responding is what truly makes great comedy.  The inflection matters but the punch line given quickly slides the tongue to lick the fly off the cherry on the ice cream.  Oh, to think a raisin would have been better tasting than the fly!

Sometimes we are quicker than we think depending on the imminent threat…  Former President Ronald Reagan after being shot, told the First Lady Nancy, “Sorry honey, I forgot to duck!”…  It’s a gift to quickly say just the right thing, and doubly so when it’s funny.

Who knows what quickens the step dear Jack must take as he is asked to be nimble?  To be like a freshly pulled rubber band ready to snap over the candle stick… ?  Did you know the trick is to not disturb the wick ?  Why?  Believe it or not, it was all about good fortune.  Imagine that.  It was a way to tell whether or not good luck was on its way…  The Nursery Rhyme was collected in 1805, way before any of us were around.

A”A lot of snake bites occur purely out of reaction. If someone picks up a rock or a piece of wood a snake is laying under, the snake could bite out of defense.”
_Fred Rainwater

I would love to find the words that will outlive my life.  I am obviously stretching the rubber band…

However, let us remember that a baker has benefited from quick rising yeast.  When gambling, the “quick pick” option is as quick as we hope Jack jumped over the candle stick.  The word quick hurries me…to make this agreeably short…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
_Vivian Greene

The best I could find for a visual for you to enjoy comes from the Internet:

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the lights in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

Muhammad Ali

I can’t beat it.  Nor should you try it.  I did last night.  I got punched by my own elbow; be sure to refrain from trying everything you read others did, especially the champion boxer!

Remember  the warning not to drive any faster than your Guardian Angel can fly?  That’s the best one to remember…  CAUTION is like Tinker Bell on the shoulder…

Quick is sometimes safest… quickly calls for speedier action, and how quick is quickly?  A tad faster… because it ‘s like the ringing of a bell alerting time is of the essence…Remember Jack is told to be nimble, bend with the rapid flow…like a bow…

Wishing you the best always… and quickly… a quick good night…

 

 

 

To Be Patient Is to Be at Peace

The calm before the storm is said to be ominous yet I always long for the calm I associate with patience and peace.  Things turn out better when done calmly.

Today…in about forty-five minutes, I will ring a bell at home in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am holding down the little girl ready to leave the scene…I remember that day…My mother is standing on the left.

I am always saddened by the conversations fueling a battle no one ought to be fighting.  God has created us differently.  Our physical characteristics don’t determine our characters.  The development of who we become as persons stands to be best understood by our Maker.  I wish we could appreciate our differences, even as men and women.

I was born and raised in Brazil, and my father worked in Mato Grosso measuring the land along with a team of men accustomed to the terrain.  My mother and I also lived in the compound as I can best describe it.  We were side by side with men, women, and children of Portuguese origin and mostly black folks.  I wrote a piece years ago that I will publish another time.  The truth is I did not hear of racism until I came to the United States of America at the age of fourteen.  It seemed so strange to hear people talk about the Civil War, Yankees, and racism.  It is as my parents explained it back then an attack on skin color as antisemitism is against the Jewish folk.   I listened and learned as much as I could along with speaking English, my fourth new language. Keep Reading

Be Organized and Clutter Free !

No matter what needs to be done, it must begin at the start or one has to retrace to get it done right.  That is precisely why being orderly helps and before I get going, let me introduce you to Monika Kristofferson who kindly says, ” You don’t have to be perfect to be organized.”…  HA! ( as my oldest son Daniel often responds), that is encouraging.

I certainly prefer orderliness and remember cleaning up drawers and closets for friends of long ago, and now, every once in a while, I think about doing my own.

I tend to lean on making excuses to slowly reach the fork junction that stops me on my tracks, oh, where, where did I put that ?  I bet you know what I’m talking about!  Well, here is another hands up with a solution:

“A place for everything and everything in its place.” _Samuel Smiles, Thrift

That seems reasonable yet scattered brain activities hinder the process, and I have been told once, twice and more than I would like to remember ” it’s a guy thing to be disorderly.”…  Somewhere I read and have passed it on though I’m not sure my voice was loud enough to be heard and maybe I lost my clout for having let it slide for too long…

Whatever…   Like things with like things seems to be the start of making order.  Books with books, papers with papers, change with change in a jar or a tin, t-shirts with t-shirts, cups with cups, etc…  I think it proper to give a teenager a good looking trash can for the things that need to be discarded. Keep Reading

Be Needed

You so matter in this world, every ounce of you must know it.

No sloth can justify hanging like a sheet on the line in the wind because that cloth serves a great purpose.  How many more things can we think of that can match the luxury of sleeping on a bed with clean sheets?  Surely the launderers have a place in heaven.  The chief cook and bottle washer takes the prize for generating the delicacies that all of us hunger to consume.  Everybody is needed to perform the mundane tasks to the more exquisite placement of the just part in its perfect place like in a car assembly line, and once that is understood, love appears.

There is movement in being needed and we swirl and twirl to do that which we enjoy so it is often said that to find doing something you love means never having to go to work.  Ouch!  Work ought not be such an uncomfortable word.  In fact, it is the very thing that brings us discovery.  I think it produces love, no kidding.  Responsibilities fulfilled are huge acts of love.

Sometimes I just get a feeling the prayers in my thoughts find signs of love.

LET ME SHARE A CLIP I ENJOY WHILE PEELING POTATOES:

”  I don’t like work… but I like what is in work–the chance to find yourself.  Your own reality–for yourself, not for others–which no other man can ever know.”  __Joseph Conrad

Oh, it is true.  In that process of doing, we find ourselves for who we are and the secret is ours to keep… or not.  The nugget of wisdom  here is that no sloth has yet emerged from slumber to discover a greater reality, a more fulfilling state of being.

We have been bombarded by a storm that flung the cones off the pine trees as if a giant sized jar of marbles were spilled on the grass everywhere…  The exercise of picking them up one by one is good for the mind, body, and soul, not to mention the curb appeal or the life of the lawn mower.

I think of the pleasures received and given because they all fill a need as well…  Kind acts of love do cascade…

God bless you one and all…

PS: I am so grateful to Stela Galben for including the ducks on her visit to Belgrad last autumn…  I needed just that to complete the blog of the letter N and to be needed…

 

His Mercy

To be merciful is to know compassion one step higher.  It beckons an act of doing, answering, and feeling to embrace as even in forgiving the needy.

From my dearest cousin’s daughter Stela Galben from Romania.

I often rely on The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus, Son of God, please have mercy on me, a sinner.”  I have also used it as an intercessory prayer for others.

To be merciful brings memories and I suppose we could sit in a circle as friends and find a story to relate.  Each one of us can begin by remembering a time when we extended our hearts to the max because it was the most we could do, and innately, naturally so.  The woe of loved ones hurt us as parents like no other yet mercy abounds to family, friends, and all.  Mercy is a mindful response of kindness, and ultimately, of love.

Photograph taken last weekend by Stela Galben in Cluj, Romania.

 

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d;

It drouth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blest him that gives and him that takes:

‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it become

The throned monarch better than his crown;

.   .   .   .   .   .   .    .   .   .    .    .   .    .   .   .   .   .   .    .

And earthly power doth them show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice. “

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, IV, 1

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

I like the lightheartedness Shakespeare so skillfully plucked in using these words, and I hope the seriousness of being merciful is welcomed as he suggests.  The analogy of mercy being like the gentle, heavenly rain upon the earth is brilliant.  It is not strained.  The quality of being merciful yields a two fold blessing as both the merciful and the recipient are graced as we all will be by God’s merciful justice.

To” be merciful” is the call for the letter M in the blog Come, Become Alphabetically Savvy…   I hope you enjoyed this short one…

 

 

 

 

Being Lustrous, Cascade…

The two stepped up their pace and moved swiftly passed both gates to heavenward it seemed just as the play had begun, a melody appeared…

Annabeth and Rod Sayles…from Kula, Maui…with love, always…

On stage the two shook hands and if they had not walked side by side in time…

Her hands were gnarled…and his face so bronzed with deeply carved lines…

The crescendo continued as they touched to feel the graveness revealed in one…

and then the other…

He said…

“I feel you feeling me

And

I wonder where this all begins to end…”… in a trembling thick, deep voice…

Was it ever so before: is the recognition in the eyes of the soul?

How can such silliness exist?

What is its purpose?

Who can I tell?… They thought it, but she asked… Keep Reading