Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas photos


I took a few photos over Christmas and thought I'd share some. We decorated the tree with crystal and gold ornaments this year. The crystal figurines (like the swan) were bought in Africa. The icicles and stars I bought here in Scotland.



 They looked wonderful with the coloured lights!

 


 Dad had the great idea of putting the TV onto a fireplace scene for this photo I took On Christmas Eve.

 'Albert' was already up in bed waiting for Santa...



Albert came to me on a day I'd been to the doctors. He was kind of lost... someone had dumped in between shampoo bottles at the supermarket and hubby said we should rescue him. So we bought him. :-) He's sitting on our bed on a gift I got from Amel - my beautiful winter fleece! I think Albert looks stunning on it, don't you? ;-)

...and a photo of Prancer. Isn't he lovely? I found him in a charity shop. He was still in the box. The candle next to him was a gift from another friend. I have great friends. :-D



The joy of having hands that don't work - everyone else has to do what you tell them. *grin* Actually... everyone was wonderful in helping. Christmas lunch was perfect. Here hubby's getting the veggies ready (glazed gammon to his left!) and dad's on wash-up duty.


Dad decorated the table too...


We open the gifts in the afternoon, after lunch.


And here I am taking a photo of... me. LOL


See you all next year! ;-)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Doorways


I wrote a post for my Thimbles blog (scheduled for this friday) about Janus, the Roman god of doorways. He's the one who gave January its name. It got me thinking about New Year's Eve and how Janus stands in the doorway looking back and forward to protect travellers.

New Year's Eve is a doorway and we are the travellers.


A few months back a friend sent me an email about 2012. He was wondering what next year would hold for our planet, considering how weird the weather has been this year. He knew about my vision of the Earth as a person and he wondered if I'd seen/felt anything else recently.

Could I ask Earth herself what was going on and would she reply? I decided to give it a try and... I got an answer. I shared it with two friends and they wrote back to suggest that I put it on my blog. I was so busy with my hands that I forgot, but the closer I get to that January doorway the more I feel I should share what I saw. Here it is, exactly as I first wrote it down, pasted this from my email:

I managed to find some quiet time this morning to meditate and asked Earth Mother what all our weird weather means.

I was taken down into the ground. At first it was like floating-plummeting down a mine shaft, or a deep hole. I came into caves or caverns, all very dark! It was as if I had a tiny torch, so I could only get small glimpses of what was around me. I saw pictures on the walls. A flash of a face that reminded me of Tutankhamen. More "bits" that looked Egyptian, but then pictures that reminded me of paintings I've seen from ancient Crete. They looked like paintings or mosaic. The one I saw very clear was a big fish, like a tuna. Above and below were bands of design, like Cretan or Grecian geometric patterns.

I floated on into a new cavern, carved out like a giant room. There were pillars that seemed made of clay or stone. They were Cretan in design. In the corner of this cavern room was a big raised oblong hole, like the base for a bed, but molded or carved from the stone floor itself. I tried to ask about this oblong and the place, this room. When I thought 'room' I heard words, "womb", "room" and "tomb". I felt amusement from whoever said the words, because of the fact I couldn't get it clear which word was right. In a way, they all were right, because a "room" in the centre of the earth is both a "womb" and a "tomb" really.

I heard, "ATLANTIS" softly spoken, but clear. A woman's voice. I think part of what I saw/was shown were ancient ruins yet to be discoverer and yes, I think part of them was a tomb and part a temple.

I went down deeper. I saw lava at times, but it was far off, down side tunnels I wasn't travelling through. I saw white cities in the dark, but I knew they weren't here. They were little pictures, almost like bubbles or TV screens, on which I could see another world. Another Earth. These cities were all white, with high buildings and low, and above them there were orbs of white light that lit them up the same way our cities use streetlights, but these lights were floating and they seems to sparkle slightly, a bit like some fireworks.

Down deeper I saw the belly of a huge white reptile above me. Huge as in as wide as a bus and looped up into the endless darkness. There was a line of red along the belly crease and some blood dripping. I realised it had been cut. Then I was standing further back and could see that it was a huge white snake curved up into a loop - I got the word "OUROBOROS", which I know. The snake holding its tail is in every culture of the world and in most cases represents the continual cycle of Nature, Life, Seasons, etc. It can symbolise all being one, reincarnation too.

Then I saw who had cut it - it was one of the forms I see Mother Earth/Earth Mother as... the goddess Durga. In one of her hands she held up a silvery sword and I knew she had cut ouroboros. I could see the slice was very fine, but had still managed to sever the snake almost through. Only the skin on it's back was holding it together. There was no anger or fear in this cutting. Nothing 'bad' in either her or the snake. It was more like seeing a surgeon cut into a patient. I think the Earth cycles, weather cycles maybe, are being cut through, but this isn't something bad or fearful. It is necessary.

Then I saw the oceans and all the dolphin and fish were swimming in one direction. They were swimming into a huge spiralling "hole", like when the water spirals out of a bathtub, except this spiral was on its side and within the ocean!!! It was huge. A whale could easily swim into the spiral hole. I was taken with them and found myself surfacing on a coastline. The water around me was so pure and pristine in sparkled.

...and then I was back in the dark hearing "womb" and it was over.

I still have no idea what some of it means; symbols can translate many ways. All I know for certain is the Truth never scares. Our fears scare us, they are the "monster under the bed". The Truth, as Jesus said so long ago, sets you free. Trust your heart to tell you what is true.

Wombs and tombs? Birth and death? Or maybe just a doorway? Janus understood that every doorway meant the death of the old and the birth of the new. The fish and dolphin went through a kind of doorway. What lies behind the door for 2012? The unknown can seem scary, but the unknown is also exciting.

It's the way every adventure starts...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Blessing


This year I have written and decorated my blog for each Advent sunday before Christmas. It seemed fitting to carry on the "theme" and end with a Christmas blessing...

Our path has grown brighter as we lit each Advent candle,

Each candle a blessing to light our way. 

One candle in Hope... 

for hope is the light
that can break through the deepest darkness. 

Two candles for Peace... 

for Peace is the only path 
that humanity can walk together upon. 

Three candles for Joy... 

for Joy is the blessing of friendship and sharing - 
the fellowship of travellers on the road. 

Four candles in Love... 

for Love is what makes life worth living. 

These four have brought us to this day 
and to this promise... 

That the birth of a child 
will always bring hope and joy 
and that light, whether star or candle, 
can guide our way and bring us all 
to peace and love.



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Cheesy Story

...

Something funny to share. ;-)

On Monday I had to go to the doctor for a check up. I was sitting in the waiting room watching the TV. They have it set to show text, so you can read it if you can't hear it. Well... that's okay in theory. At first I couldn't figure out why the writing was sometimes really weird, next to what people were saying, then I realised the TV channel must use one of those computer programs that turns spoken words into written words.

The problem with that, as anyone who's ever tried it will tell you, is that computers don't "get" accents or changes in intonation. As a result a Dairy farm was written as a DERRY FARM, but there was worse to come. WAY worse...

I was watching a news item on Stilton cheese. Apparently, Stilton is the best selling Christmas cheese in Britain and now it's being exported worldwide too. Stilton is the top cheese for Christmas every year. I was listening to a cheese maker being interviewed and only slightly watching the text when a sentence stood out like a mystical message.

STILTON     KING OF THE JEWS.

Ehhhh? I mean, I know it's madly popular at Christmas, but isn't that taking it a bit too far????

Then I heard the cheese maker reply, "Oh yes, it's definitely the king of cheeses."

I nearly burst out laughing right there in the waiting room. I know I choked on a giggle.  When I got back home I told hubby, who grinned and said,

"So... cheese is the king of the Jews?" 

(say it fast and you'll get the pun)



  I'm still giggling....

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Blessing for Solstice



Blessed Be the Natives,
for they hold the Roots to the Tree of Life,
and Dance our Trails upon the Earth.

Blessed Be the Speakers,
for they hold the Truth for Us All,
and Sing our Songs to the Sky.

Blessed Be the Old Ones,
for they hold the Visions of Wholeness,
and Embrace Us until we Awaken.

~ O'siyo ~

John Roman
...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker




How come this doesn't make front page news? If he'd stabbed a banker to death I bet it would have! We need better journalism that remember humans need to be reminded of their strengths and successes even more than their failures.

Fourth Candle for Advent

...
I'm putting Advent candles on my blog for Christmas. :-) I've used some of the quotes from Words for Worship to put together my own Christmas Advent ideas.


4th Sunday of Advent

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

The path grows brighter as we await this coming Birth.

The candles blaze as brightly as the stars that guide us. 
Rejoicing together our hearts connected in Love and Light.

The candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy glow brightly.

Today, we light the candle of Love.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Fickle Fingers


...
I'm doing a bit better with my hands, since I've been wearing wrist splints at night I can actually sleep again and now have some definite news to share at last. :-)

I went through to the big hospital in Aberdeen on Monday and had a full set of tests. I've been scanned, electrocuted (*in small doses!) and had pins stuck into me. The 'electrucution' was part of a Nerve Conduction test - layman here describing just what I watched and sort of understood. They check for the nerve responses in each finger and from several different points on the hand. By reading the electric current feedback they can tell where the nerves are blocked or damaged. It wasn't painful, more like fizzy electric shock... like this in your hand and fingers.


The result is that it is definitely not my neck or spine, which is a relief. I have severe carpel tunnel and only surgery will fix it - for both hands. So... now I wait and see what the neurologist decides on the findings. I'm due to see my new doc next week to discuss this. I also want to talk to her about the meds I'm on. I'm on three strong medications and would like to get off them if I can. There's a chance at least one of them is redundant now they know what's wrong with me.

Typing is better, but still not something I can do for long so I'll have to stop now.

My love and best festive greetings to all
xx


 
 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Third Candle for Advent

...
I'm putting Advent candles (the four Sundays before Dec 25th) on my blog for Christmas. :-) I've used some of the quotes from Words for Worship to put together my own Christmas Advent ideas.

3rd Sunday of Advent

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

Week by week, our hearts grows stronger as we await the coming Light.

The candles of Hope and Peace are already ablaze.

Week by week, the path grows brighter, as we await the coming Birth.

Rejoicing together we lift our hearts and voices in song. Today, we light the candle of Joy.


...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sparklies

...
Last weekend hubby's sister invited us out for lunch on Sunday. We met up at a local shop where we had a very nice lunch of some yummy cheese and leek soup served with home-made bread. We had a long chat through, and an even longer browse round the shop, before moving on to another nice shop where we bumped into some other family and ended up having another long chat and coffee and cake. It was a very nice afternoon. :-)

When we were leaving hubby and I went to wait outside while his sister bought some Christmas gifts. I took some photos of the window displays, they were so pretty and so sparkly! :-) You can see larger versions by clicking on them.

I love all the golds in this window...





The sun was setting (around 3:30pm this time of the year) and I could see the sunset reflections in the shop windows, and the trees of the woodland on the other side of the road. It was so pretty that I used these two photos to create my December Banner...





...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Saints and Martyrs

...
inspiration can strike at the oddest times and places. I recently wrote a poem in between making dinner. It started with the thought of someone asking a question and ended up... well, you read it and see. :-)

Saints and Martyrs

“Where were you, when the world ended,
and everything was suspended,
and the angels came?
Did they call your name?”

He held my hand and smiled,
like a child who has seen
the other side of magic.
Nothing tragic in this sharing,
his bearing was that of a man
transformed.

His grip was firm; an old man’s hand,
grained by life and turned on the wheel,
as we turned on the wheel
in spinning snow; his eyes the axis and centre
to a world I could not enter. His eyes
surprised me into surrender and I stood
and looked beyond what was safe to see.
Him and me spinning time
down.

down… the softest feathers, the lightest snow.
down… the spiral sane men fear and madmen know.

Snow, like angel wings’, enfolded us
in silence. I held his hand, he held my gaze
and I, amazed at my own composure,
unsure how to leave yet knowing I could not stay…
longing to stay, I walked away.

The sadness in my eyes, so close to tears,
were fears not for his sanity, but mine.
The likes of me condemned to be too grounded
in this well founded world to stay.
I walked away well floundered, I grieved
that meeting; that all too fleeting glimpse of
Paradise in his eyes.

copyright Michelle Frost, December 2011
...

Second Candle for Advent

.....
I'm putting Advent candles on my blog for Christmas. :-) I've used some of the quotes from Words for Worship to put together my own Christmas Advent ideas.


2nd Sunday of Advent

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

The light grows gradually brighter as we move through Advent together.

Seeking a straight path, we need another candle to guide our steps.

Together, we prepare the way as we strive to lead lives of goodness and kindness.

The candle of Hope already burns bright.

Today, we light the candle of Peace.


...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Good News

.....
Well, I've finally been sent to a physiotherapist (last Friday) and he's given me wrist splints to wear at night. They're like fabric casts, with metal plates in them, held on with Velcro straps. They hold my wrists from moving. It means I can't scratch my nose, or move much at night, but they are soothing the pain and I'm finally able to sleep! After five months of pain and not sleeping longer than 3 hours this is bliss. Bliss for hubby too, as most nights when my pain gets bad he ends up awake too.

The pain is less during the day as well, so I'm managing to use my hands more, which is WONDERFUL. I still have no feeling in some fingers, which makes some tasks a struggle, but at least I can sleep and type again. :-)

AND... more good news! A writing competition I entered a while back has let me know I've won through the first round. I entered my post Battle Cry, about being a Peace Warrior, and it came 10th.



Now must prepare for the second level, which is a bit scary, as the second stage is to do a video and I'm not at all sure what I'm going to do.. or able to do. My video skills are highly limited.

It doesn't matter though - it's been such great fun participating in the event that I really don't mind if my video section gets me nowhere. :-)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

For Advent... The First Candle

......
I'll be putting up Advent candles on my blog this Christmas. :-) The candles lit for Advent are still, in my opinion, one of the loveliest celebrations.

Advent is a period of preparation and waiting for Jesus to be born. It used to involve fasting (Catholics and others) until the Christmas celebration, but I don't think many people do that anymore.

There are many variations on Advent, so I'm sticking with the one I like the most. There are four candles for the four Sundays before Christmas. The third one is traditionally rose pink, but nowadays all sorts of colours are used. Each candle has meaning and I've used some of the quotes from Words for Worship to put together my own Christmas Advent idea.

1st Sunday of Advent

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

We join with sisters and brothers around the world, lighting a candle to mark our steps in this Advent journey.

Today, we light the candle of Hope.

...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Wow... how long has it been?

...
I hadn't realised how long it's been since I blogged here. With my fingers and hands not working properly for months I've pretty much ground to a crawl with emails, blogs, etc.

So... what can I say? Life has been hectic and weird, which seems to be the theme song for 2011 in general. Most of my friends and family have dealt with 'hectic and weird' this year, in one way or another.

My fingers are an ongoing puzzle. I have been to several doctors and have a few left to see in December. They think it's likely a mix of things, some carpel tunnel stuff, but something else on top of that, which makes all the symptoms and test results confusing. I'm not sleeping much - lying down hurts. I'm tired a lot, but have loads of help from hubby who is turning into a good cook. :-) My mom had hip surgery end of Oct and is recovering well. Dad's doing good too...

...and otherwise life has been really quiet. No-one is up to doing much, the price of fuel has risen to a stage where going out is kept to a minimum so I'm not getting many chances to take nice scenic photos. All a bit dull and drab... rather like the weather. November has been warm, but windy and the trees are so confused that a lot of them haven't lost their leaves yet and haven't gone those lovely autumn golds and coppers either.

Strange month in a strange year!

Friday, 11 November 2011

In Remembrance

.




Remembrance – A hymn
for Remembrance Sunday

Charles Henrywood

Grant peace, O Lord, across our strife-torn world,
Where war divides and greed and dogma drive.
Help us to learn the lessons from the past,
That all are human and all pay the price.
All life is dear and should be treated so;
Joined, not divided, is the way to go.

Grant rest, O Lord, to those no longer with us;
Who died protecting us and this their land.
Bring healing, Lord, to those who, through their service,
Bear conflict’s scars on body or in mind.
With those who mourn support and comfort share.
Give strength to those who for hurt loved-ones care.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them

We will remember them

...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem 2011 - The Dreamers...

... Every time that I’ve taken part in Blogblast for Peace I’ve tried to find a new viewpoint to the idea of Peace:

But when it came to planning for 2011 my brain went blank ... so I avoided the question by designing some Peace badges for Mimi instead.


Then I avoided it again by getting involved in Mimi's ‘100 Reasons for Peace’ challenge. It started small, just thimblefuls of peace, but those small posts soon started to overwhelm my everyday blogging and so I moved them all to a new blog - Peace Thimbles.

I was busy preparing a thimble post, when it struck me – THIS was my Blogblast 2011 message! This was everything I wanted to say.

'Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.'

That small thimble was a special song I had intended to post on the birthday of its composer, the magically talented Paul Williams. Paul Williams has been entertaining the world, and touching hearts, for over four decades. His songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis and David Bowie to Frank Sinatra and… Kermit the frog.

It’s Kermit’s favourite song, The Rainbow Connection, that sums it all up for me
Mimi’s dream of Blogblast for Peace
inspired by Papa’s beautiful world-in-a-marble...


the Peace Bees, the Peace Bloggers,
all the everyday rainbow-hearted people involved…



'the lovers, the dreamers and me.'

The dreamers... that’s the real miracle of Mimi’s Blogblast - the fact that it has brought together people from all over our planet. People who all share the same simple dream of wanting a better, safer world.

'All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....'


I chose a thimble for my peace “symbol” this year, because some days it feels as if trying to make the world a better place is like bailing a flood with a thimble. Let’s face it, you turn on the news and the media bombards you with wars, murders, and disasters. Dramas sell more papers than ‘feel good’ stories; most journalists would rather cover a war than a charity gala. As a result we get reminded far more often about humanity’s catastrophes than our achievements.

War is dramatic – Peace is humble.

It’s easy to feel small and overwhelmed when the media keeps reminding us of our failures. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re standing there all alone with your thimble clutched to your heart.

'So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.'

So maybe you can't bail a flood with a thimble, but what if you had the world to help you?


What could you achieve if you bailed with a billion thimbles? What if you discovered you weren’t so alone after all? That’s what Mimi proved to all of us in blogblast for Peace – that we weren’t alone. Not yet a billion thimbles, but not alone.




'Somebody thought of thatand someone believed it,and look what it's done so far.'

I went looking for more info on what Paul Williams is up to nowadays and I discovered that he has a whole armful of thimbles of his own on his Connections website! You can find them here at Save me a Dream. Paul Williams is out there bailing bravely for victims of child abuse, domestic violence, fetal alcohol syndrome and so many others I can’t list them all! It’s an absolutely fantastic site, please go look at it. He has links to all kinds of help and support – a hundred beautiful thimbles.

'Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?'

Now, as much as I like Kermit, I found a version of The Rainbow Connection on YouTube that fits my ideas about a peace-filled world far better. Go watch it and you’ll see a fragment of what I dream our world could be…


I also loved the way the world famous singer in this video walks into it in such an unassuming way.

Peace is humble…

I went to check up on Willie Nelson and found out that he's busy with his own thimbles of hope - he's president of Farm Aid.

Farm Aid is a non profit organisation that tries to keep family farmers on their land. Farmers are also the often completely forgotten victims of war. You cannot farm in a war zone, I know - I have family on my dad’s side who have been caught up in having farming land in a war zone. When we lose our family farmers, we lose the heart of our countries. When we lose farmers in war zones... people starve to death.

There’s a great quote on the Farm Aid site. Willie Nelson says:


I've always believed that the most important people on the planet are the ones who plant the seeds and care for the soil where they are grown.

He’s right - the smallest things are often the most important. It’s those who sow seeds, those who bail hope in small thimblefuls, who make this world a place worth living in. It’s the small ordinary people, mostly invisible, rarely acknowledged, who are the true heroes in Life.

So this year’s Blogblast theme is for you – sitting there reading this, holding your thimble and feeling like you don’t make much of a difference because you’re too small to count…

You count to those who matter.


'I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
it's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.'



Never think you’re too small to make a difference...



'Life's like a movie, write your own ending.
Keep believing, keep pretending.
we’ve done just what we set out to do

Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers…
and you.'


Jim Henson

* thank you to my friend, Kim, for designing the thimble. x
*credits to Sarah Edwards, for creating and maintaining Paul Williams' Connection websites
And everlasting thanks to Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher for "The Rainbow connection" :-)
...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Battle Cry

...
Recently the TV news showed footage of a little girl in China being hit by a car. She died because neither the driver, nor the 18 people who walked by or over her, stopped to help her. She seemed to be invisible to everyone except the CCTV cameras.

What went wrong? How can you overlook a dying child beneath your feet? It seems unbelievable that people can be so uncaring, but then you stop and look around you and it gets to be even more frightening. Modern life seems to have become a war where only the selfish flourish. Win at all costs, reach the top at all costs… The message is fairly clear - that it is perfectly fine to hurt, lie or elbow anyone out of your way in order to gratify your own personal greeds and needs.

From school to sports, and jobs to politics, it is considered perfectly acceptable to fight to reach the top. Our politicians battle it out with each other constantly, and often quite nastily. Our sports teams are expected to win regardless of fairplay and businesses lie and manipulate each other out of the way to get the best trade deals.

Battles… wars… aggression… struggle… I’m so tired of it all. I’d love to just run away and hide, but I can’t, because there are some battles you simply cannot walk away from. You see… I’ve realised I’m a fighter too, but of a different kind. I’ve realised I’m a Peace Warrior.


Now I’m not meaning anything wild and drastic by that, I don’t go chaining myself to railings chanting peace slogans. You do get those kinds if Warriors for Peace, those people who leap into public view, but on the whole most Peace Warriors are invisible, overlooked and unknown. Peace isn’t fought for on battlegrounds or under spotlights – it’s fought for in all the ordinary everyday places by very ordinary everyday people, like me… and like you.

Peace has no prejudices; you can be any age, religion or race. Peace Warriors may fight with tact and smiles or arm themselves with petitions and posters, but basically they are all the same. There are Peace Warriors out there carrying school books as well as those who have dentures. They are many and varied, but there is one thing they all have in common - they all expect more from humanity.

Now, there are those who think any attempt to change humanity is ridiculous and unrealistic. Maybe… maybe Peace Warriors are dreamers of improbable dreams, but we aren’t quitters. Like Gandhi and Irena Sendler, Peace Warriors quietly get on with doing those things other people say are impossible.

As a Peace Warrior friend of mine puts it:

“I blog for peace because some say it is impossible to achieve.
I am stubborn. Tell me I can't and I will.”


Mimi Lennox (founder of Blogblast4Peace)


She’s right, Peace Warriors have to be stubborn, because changing the world is grindingly slow - you’ll not survive this battle if you’re impatient or only in it for short term rewards.

There’s another misconception about Peace – that being a pacifist is an easy way out and that stepping back from violence, or war, is akin to cowardice. The truth is actually the complete opposite. Peace Warriors challenge others; they shine a light on what needs to be changed and that can be a very dangerous thing. Throughout world history Peace Warriors have been mocked, threatened, hated, beaten, imprisoned and even executed. Peace has never been the choice for cowards.

True Peace Warriors don’t wield weapons or incite violence, but they don’t step back and ‘take it’ either. Peace Warriors are those people who not only think, “This isn’t right; this isn’t fair,” they stand up and do something about it. If you’ve ever made a decision based on what was right instead of what was popular, if you’ve ever put the safety of others ahead of your own, if you’ve ever stood up to a bully, yet not lowered yourself to their levels to do so… you are a Peace Warrior.

Peace stands up when the rest sit down,
Peace steps forward when the others turn and run.
Peace shines a light in the darkest places,
no matter the danger in what it faces.
Peace is a warrior, do you understand?
Peace is a warrior within your hands.

(“Peace Warrior” by Michelle Frost)
...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dancing your Words

...
I watched a TV show years ago about dance at the beat of cultural music. It showed how people really DANCING - totally letting go of their inhibitions and reverted right back to their ancient genetic dance styles. They even showed clips of modern partying dancers and their cultural dances side by side and the similarities were quite amazing.

When people really 'let their hair down' and dance to the music without thinking... they returned to their ancestral heartbeat.



It made me wonder... do writers do this? Or, even more interesting, is this why writers sometimes struggle to write, because they try to follow writing styles that aren't from their ancient cultural heartbeat?

What would happen if we tried to write to our ancient heartbeats?

So here's the challenge I'm setting - find some music from your racial/cultural ancestry, something that really resonates with you heart and soul. Find the music that makes your heart dance and... write to it.


don't think - don't try for a theme - don't worry if it's a paragraph or a poem,just write to your ancestral heartbeat...

and then let your words dance.


Here's mine...




I'll let you know if I write anything worth sharing, when I get the time to try out my own challenge. ;-)
...

Monday, 24 October 2011

How Heavy is a Glass of Water?

...
From an email..


The Lecturer walked around the room while explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water.

"How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "That's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.

As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow."

Friday, 21 October 2011

Music for Friday

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I love Owl City and this video is great fun too.
Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

My Peace Globe - the Grand Unveiling


Not much time left before Blogblast for Peace on Nov 4th. I'm still refining what I'm going to say on the day, but my Peace Globe is ready. I'm just on my way to post it off to Mimi, but thought I'd pop it up here first.

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Monday, 17 October 2011

Folded into Wings

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UNODA (UN Office for Disarmament Affairs) is running a Poetry for Peace contest this October. The theme is the "hibakusha" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki...
This poetry contest is a platform to share your thoughts and feelings about the hibakusha testimonies. In their own voices, hibakusha have recorded their testimonies for you and future generations to hear.
I listened to two YouTube testimonies:

Kayano Tsutsui, who was a child in Nagasaki, and
Isano Tanabe, who was a mother with children in Hiroshima.

Their stories are worth hearing. What happened to these people is beyond words - what Nuclear weapons do to people is beyond words.

How do you write such horror into a poem for peace? How do you bring hope out of the ashes of Hell? All I could think of as a ray of hope was another victim of Hiroshima, Sadako Sasaki, who left behind a new Peace symbol for the world - the origami crane. (My Peace Thimble post 80 - "1,000 paper Cranes")

Here's the haiku poem I finally submitted, in her honour:

angels, doves and cranes -
our only hope for peace lies
folded into wings.


glitter-graphics.com


You can see it on the UNODA site at: http://www.un.org/disarmament/special/poetryforpeace/poems/frost/

Finalists will be selected from those with the most "LIKE" clicks. So, if you are on Facebook, please consider giving my poem a LIKE, as long as you really like it! ;-) And do check the other poems out too, there are others worth liking.
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Most interesting Video of the Year


...for me anyway.

And if that struck a chord with you too... do check out their website.
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Sunday, 16 October 2011

It's Been a Crazy Week..

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I know I haven't blogged in ages. Typing still hurts my fingers so I'm using them sparingly. Thank goodness I had the sense to get my 100 Thimbles of Peace done early, since I was worried my fingers might get worse. I've also taken time out to read the UNODA Peace Poem entries. You can find my poem here.



It's a haiku I wrote in honour of Sadako.

I have been keeping busy, but the real reason I haven't updated on this blog because I was waiting for things to calm down a bit - the last two weeks have been really crazy. I've been bouncing between doctors and other specialists trying to sort out where my hand-arm pain is coming from. It's been coming and going, trying all sorts of medications, and then last Saturday.. everything exploded



This arm-hand pain wakes me up regularly during the night.Then I sit up on the edge of the bed, dangle my arms down and wait for pain to ease. So... last Saturday I wake up groggy with bad pain. I sit up, dangle arms... and the world exploded. MASSIVE pain.

I know I stood up because I remember thinking I mustn't move again, or sit down - too much fear of causing more pain. Hubby got out of bed so somewhere I woke him. I remember yelling, "DON'T TOUCH ME" at him, I was so scared of more pain. but then the pain got worse anyway and I started to hyperventilate, wanted to faint, thought it was me going...




so hubby phoned for an ambulance. I scared the life out of him. My parents woke up to hear him freaking out and so they were scared too... human panic dominoes!

The ambulance medics took me in sitting up, as I didn't want to move, draped in a blanket as any touch or movement hurt, but by then the pain was easing-increasing in waves.

LONG story short - I saw three doctors, was there for ages and the pain wore off naturally, but they gave me strong pain killers to take home. I saw my doctor and I have lots of people dashing about trying to sort out more tests for me.

In the meantime the pain medication hasn't helped. I have had two pain-explosion mornings since then, but I'm coping better. Knowing I wasn't going to die (lol) I stayed calm and it was weird. The pain gets HUGE at the worst stage, but by staying calm and I could watch it and see where it came from. It radiates out from my left hand, middle finger. How amazing. I never knew watching pain could be beautiful and yet so damn unbearable.

While sorting out tests and stuff at the doctors I was given a stronger pain med to try. mmm.... what can I say?




It never helped the pain, but it did make me groggy and more sleepy. So sleepy that some nights I kept falling asleep upright on edge of bed when I sat up to ease the pain. That was scary, so I sat in a chair on Friday morning and woke up pukey, very dizzy, and my dreams were on fast forward. I mean that literally! My dreams, each time I woke up, were zooming by at top speed like when you zoom the TV maybe 6x speed. surreal!!

I now know strong pain meds are not the answer. It’s taken 48 hours for the dizzy-groggy to wear off, with help of dizzy meds that… make me sleepy! I have slept everywhere!



I stopped the pain medication and the pain is no worse, but my groggy-dizzy is MUCH better. No more of the strong stuff for me!


I'm still feeling more upbeat, because I have doctors trying to sort it out and I'm learning to fix things myself - by staying calm, taking naps and trying some stretching exercises the chiropractor gave me that definitely are helping. It's not fast or easy, but I can see improvements. I'm more hopeful than I was this time last month, which is really good.