December 2, 2016

Just a Few Quickie Stickies

Welcome to 4:30am at my house...

The 13th week of this term is ending, and the last full week starts on Monday. I am truly trying to stay in the here and now, but I cannot wait until this term is on the transcript. Anyway, I have a few stickies...(or is it stickys?) get off my desk:

First things first:

On the bookshelf

I am going to grab a copy or two of this BOOK to help out a fellow traveler. Maybe you would like to, as well? Gift giving time is upon us, y'know.

And, a couple of interesting tidbits from the Latin student:

betcha didn't know that, eh?

And, then there is this intelligent ARTICLE about safety pins, yard signs, and all that jazz. 

What else...oh yes, I applied for grad school. That's a sticky, for sure.

On the car radio, and now on the wish list:

Can't you just feel the hot, sticky Mississippi heat on your skin when you listen to that? It not only makes me want to travel, but takes me back to George County where a dear, old soul lives. May she be well. I heard there were tornadoes down that way; hope everyone fared alright.

Brain seed (aka ponder-fodder from the wordie):

Religious doctrinal religions are prescriptive (proscriptive?), while practicing contemplative mindfulness is descriptive. Much to ponder, indeed.
definitions (from wiki):  
Prescribe means "to set down authoritatively for direction" or "to set down a medical procedure in order to cure or alleviate symptoms." 
Proscribe means "prohibit or limit" or "ostracize or avoid in a social sense."  
Describe means identifying or classifying without expressing feelings or judging.

depiction of Catherine of Siena
My literature review draft has been reviewed for editing; thankfully, (unlike some in my class), I don't have to rewrite the entire 25+ paper. Getting down to the wire...presentation next week!

And, on that note, it is time to study for one of the last Latin quizzes...sheesh, I will be glad when twice a week testing ends! I have crammed so many verb conjugations and grammar rules into my brain, I am afraid some important stuff, like where I left my car keys, is starting to fall out!

Happy Weekend!

November 30, 2016

Finding Peace

Sometimes entanglements separate,
so often for the better.

Love was not lacking, or even desire,
only that paths parted.

Being free of attachment is a benefit,
and loyalty isn’t always a virtue;

Truly, clinging for acceptance
and striving for victory
leave only expectations.

If clinging is your way,
cling to the truth that expectations lead to suffering.

If striving is your habit,
strive to train yourself to be still.

For in stillness there is awareness,
and quietness of mind.

It is only in stillness
that you will find what you seek.

November 26, 2016

Advice for a Sane World.

I suggest reading THIS.

Then, add her blog to your blogroll.

Next, follow her advice.

I certainly have.

I challenge my readers to abstain from social media (facebook/twitter/______) for one week.

Take back your life. Quit feeding the monster.

November 20, 2016

From the Archive: A Place to Live

[September 2012, originally posted on Expose.]

A picture of the place you want to spend the most time.

I don't think I can find a photo, mine or otherwise, that would portray where I want to spend the majority of my time. Instead, I will attempt to paint you a picture...

With wide, sweeping strokes, the lightest of white, pearly and somewhat translucent, would be the light of life.

I want to live in the light.

Sweet hues of light blue, lavender and pink represent freely given friendship and acceptance.

I want to live with acceptance and true, unconditional love.

Splashes of bright colors - yellow, orange and green - punctuate the days with new experiences and things to learn.

I want to live in a place where new ideas are embraced and fresh opportunities are welcomed.

Deep and comfortable darker hues find their way onto my canvas; soft brown and warm burgundy...deep turquoise and emerald green. All these speak of the abiding feeling of home and belonging.

I want to live in a place where I belong.

Dark accents of black only add to the definition of the place I want to spend the majority of my time. Clearly defined boundaries of right and wrong give life purpose and meaning.

I want to live in a place where righteousness, justice, and love rule the day.

What a painting. Yeah, that's where I want to spend the majority of my time.
It could be just a dream, but hope springs least it does for me.

Sunday Morning Haiku

Fingers intertwine,
hearts and feet set on the path.

This morning I awoke thinking of haiku. Strange. When I was a school kid I hated the idea of writing poetry, especially haiku. Teachers seemed to be so taken with the simple poetry puzzles. Suddenly, these little poems seem a fitting way to capture my observations. Maybe I will write more.

Here's some information I found online about them:

So what should haiku accomplish? What should it provide the reader? According to the classic haiku poets of Japan, haiku should present the reader with an observation of a natural, commonplace event, in the simplest words, without verbal trickery. The effect of haiku is one of "sparseness". It's a momentary snatch from time's flow, crystallized and distilled. Nothing more. 
Of all the forms of poetry, haiku perhaps is the most demanding of the reader. It demands the reader's participation because haiku merely suggests something in the hopes that the reader will find "a glimpse of hitherto unrecognized depths in the self." Without a sensitive audience, haiku is nothing.

November 19, 2016

Do I even have time to clear the clutter?

It is the end of week 11 of this term, and man, it's hard! Well, I have to say it is the intensity that makes it hard. Almost there.

In the midst of the push of Latin, post-grad sticky notes abound. Transcript ordered, recommends in place, application needs to be completed. So many stickies that are being pushed to the side in order to drill Latin vocabulary.

A few Latin snips:

volo, velle, volui, _____ - be willing, want or wish

dubito, dubitare, dubitavi, dubitatum - hesitate, doubt

fas, n., (what is divinely) right; (what is) permitted

But, what about this year's word of the year...could it be a new dictionary ENTRY?

In the feed:

A Washington Post ARTICLE that was interesting.

I wanna make my own!
On the cushion:

Wind in the cave;
Movement in stillness.
Power in silence.
"In a cave, all outer sounds are smothered by rock and earth, but this makes the sounds of one's own heartbeat and breath audible. In the same way, contemplative stillness turns us away from everyday clamor but allows us to hear the subtle in our own lives. 
When listening not with the ear but with the spirit, one can perceive the subtle sound. By entering into that sound, we enter into supreme purity. That is why so many religious traditions pray, sing, or chant as a prelude to silence. They understand that the repetition and absorption of sound leads to sacredness itself. 
The deepest sound is silence. This may seem paradoxical only if we regard silence as an absence of life and vibration. But for a meditator, silence is sound unified with all of its opposites. It is both sound and soundlessness, and it is in this confluence that the power of meditation emergence."
~excerpt from 365 Tao, Daily Meditations, Deng Ming-Dao, 1992, p. 7

Fun fact to know and tell your friends:

Enlightenment simply means being more fully human. 

I have very little time to surf the web these days, but have seen that there is way too much talk about the president-elect. The whole world seems to be upside-down with everyone trying to make sense of the madness on one side, and political positioning on the other. And, even after the head of CNN admitted their mistake of over-featuring Trump during the election, they still should be called the Trump News Network for all their continuing coverage of his every move - and, I am sure he is eating it up. I have been more than dismayed to see the selections for the presidential cabinet, as it shows all those who have (and have had) connection with Trump (that few were aware of), or at the very least have no problem with the incoming administration's whack-a-do and dangerous propositions (like building a wall, doing away with Obama-care, deporting Muslims). I thought John Oliver had some welcome insight (below), however it is unfortunate that even saying these things out loud will not make anything different. I am equally doubtful that protesting will accomplish much, either.

I am working on 'bout you?

Personal Proverbs:

Time spent focusing on the progress of others, 
neglects our own.

November 10, 2016


This is what the country looks like the day after the election. This is what division looks like. This is where judgment, competition, and elitism leads. Division. I don't know about you, but all the people in my life, including myself, were rather stunned at this outcome. And rightly so. This was not like any other election, and similarly, the newly-tapped President-Elect is like no other.

I am not posting this to wax poetic on how it all went down and who is or isn't worthy to be blamed, I really just want to capture my day yesterday. Again, it was like none other during my time on university campus.

It was a scheduled "long" day, meaning I had two classes, a prof meeting, and a tutoring session planned. It was also was my middle son's birthday, so I knew the evening was booked, as well. Frankly, I didn't know what to expect as I drove to campus. Since we don't partake of television news (or any tv for that matter), my source of news of the election was good-ole Google, which did not disappoint. Chuck and I were pretty stunned late Tuesday night when it was clear the direction things were going to go. (Full disclosure: we didn't favor either candidate, but strongly favored the long-time independent senator/candidate that was pushed out in the primary through efforts I won't discuss at this juncture.)

My first stop was for a rather early prof meeting that, due to a schedule glitch, didn't happen. However, I had the privilege of chatting with my Latin prof, who had many insightful thoughts about the election results. In the course of our conversation, he shared that there is a much-needed national conversation that needs to happen, and it doesn't all include race and/or gender issues. There is a deep divide in this country that is fueled and sustained by religion, mostly evangelical Christianity, that has invaded politics against the intent of the first amendment of the the US Constitution.

I had only one thing I could affirm...that I am working on acceptance and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

As I moved on to the library to drill Latin terms a bit prior to Latin class, I ran into a fellow student from my American Church History class from last term. He wanted to discuss the election, too. Turns out he was a Trump supporter, however, was greatly disturbed by the angst he was seeing on campus. He said he couldn't really be happy when so many were upset and afraid. That was nice. Unfortunately, I couldn't agree with his politics, nor reasoning.

But, I am working on acceptance and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

Next up was Latin class where I walked into a discussion already underway. The poly-sci major just listened and was consoled by the bio major, the chem major and physics major discussed how this was so different from years past, and the two young classics majors were emotional, one of them broke down in fearful tears. They are both very afraid of what is going to happen to their LGBT family and friends after all this. So much fear-mongering has been spewed during this campaign, there are many who cannot discern what is real and what is rhetoric. My heart just broke for these young women as they struggled with the election outcome.

I suggested, as an older student, for these sweet souls to work towards acceptance and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

Next up was the meeting with my Religion prof that I thought was earlier. I love this prof deeply, and he was visibly shaken by the election results. He shared how his past evening had gone, and the ramifications of this new president for his family and the entire country. He and his partner were married when same-sex marriage was legalized here in Washington, and now, well, what happens next? I just hate to think of how many are just waiting for the persecution and discrimination to resume full-force. If my heart wasn't broken enough, it broke even more for this conversation. He was professional, as always, but I know too much. So much burden. So much potential for needless hurt and harm. So much unknown. So much fear.

I affirmed that I am diligently striving for acceptance of the situation and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

As I walked towards the Anderson Center for a quick bite, I passed conversation after conversation of students grouped in twos and threes expressing concerns and opinions about the election. There was a whisper of what had happened the night before on campus: a group of Trump protesters gathered in Red Square, only to be met with a counter-protest. Things got heated, but not dangerous, thankfully. As I grabbed some nosh, I read the email from the President of the University inviting all to a gathering in Red Square that evening as a way to respectfully share and discuss the election. He greatly emphasized that the mission of the school was CARE for others, even if there is disagreement.

Interestingly, as I sat down with my lox 'n schmear, I opened a well-done ARTICLE discussing the Jewish response to the election. It was a strange moment of my Jewish heart connecting with my tribe in a way that hasn't happened for a while yet brought back so many memories, It left me feeling rather raw.

I am working on acceptance and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

I made my way towards my capstone class feeling a little disconnected. Passed more conversations, and a group of students talking with an older man. I took note because he was a white man with completely white hair talking with a group of young women, one of Hispanic descent, one of Asian heritage, and one who wore a hijab. It was a poignant scene I wish I could have captured in a photo.

They, too, were working on acceptance and rejecting fear of what hasn't happened yet.

Back in class, there was more discussion of the election, and an emphasis that it is never a good idea to made decisions while emotions are high. Good advice, for sure. I was pretty much numb by this point of the day, and I still had a tutoring appointment to get under my belt.

I was pretty glad to be leaving campus when, at last, I was able to walk to my car. I didn't realize how emotional it had all been until I closed my car door and just breathed out a long sigh. I decided to jot down a few things, if only to get them out of my thoughts for a moment.

Meeting my son and his fiance for a 21st birthday dinner was a much needed diversion, as nothing of the election came up, nor did I hear anyone else talking about it in the restaurant. The sushi bar was busy with young people, as always, and the 7 televisions were featuring sports of all flavors. No room for politics and high emotions here...only sushi happy hour. I think it was the first time I was thankful for sports.

So, at the end of the day, as I finally sank into my bed, my final thought was what I had repeated throughout the day: acceptance and the rejection of fear of the unknown. We will just deal with what happens when it happens. In this manner, perhaps we can stay and live in the moment. I don't want fear and worry to steal one moment of my life; I have lost too many in that manner already.

Somehow, there always seems to be just the right music for every circumstance.
Surreal, indeed.

Let go of the story and return to the only place of power:
the present moment.

ps. here is an interesting article, as well, from the academic world of religious studies. You might find it intriguing, if disheartening.