Archive for June, 2009

Jun 29

Know Yourself By Knowing the World You Occupy

Before dusk one night watching lighting bugs charge the air around me, I was surprised I had never studied them more closely. All the times I ran and caught them as a child, all the moments the lights dotted the dark, and I remembered nothing about watching them as intently as I did at that moment. They stood upright with their tails or lights pointed down. After descending, they darted back up. On the cusp of that upward movement their bodies glowed. As night rushed in they flew higher in the sky. Every once and awhile one would come close and hover as if to inspect me eye to eye. At one point, I witnessed my dog examining them in the yard as keenly as I did. That interested and satisfied me as much as learning more about lighting bugs.

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Jun 23

The Continuous March Toward Perfection

People always awaken at some point, whether at a place in their lives or in a time period as large as a civilization, and want a life of truth and freedom and justice. Gandhi led the Indian people. King led African-Americans. The Dali Lama leads in the same way, in peace and non-violence with a reverence for all life. The Tibetan monks cradled their religion before being tossed out of Tibet, as if the hand of the universe thought their words were worth sharing with the world.

The Fatherland: Bod

Among rock, the tree widens crevice,
kneels to dirt born from wind and rain
lives to serve the elements.

Among rock, snow tips from the tops
of mountain breasts,
melts each Spring into mouths below.

Among mountains, monks rock in lotus
turn prayers to steady minds
meet paradise to transform evil

empires into compassionate countries.
The highest point in the world leaps further down.
Pushed out, he slowly spreads his way.

Anita Stienstra
2007

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Jun 10

On Caregiving

Awareness is a blessing or a curse. It is a blessing if knowledge, beauty, or possibility finds its way to you. It is a curse if short-comings, ugliness, or self-pity leap upon you like prickles from a cocklebur field. Many days Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, comes to mind, and in the awareness of his words, I question if I face unavoidable suffering, and therein if I do, do I meet it with dignity. So many days it seems all I do is try to pick burrs from the cloth of my being.

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