Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marriage of Souls

When we begin to believe
that there is greater joy in
working with and for others
rather than just for ourselves,
then our society will truly
become a place of celebration.

Jean Vanier

Of Note: By its very nature, childhood is a time of selfish preoccupation. Adulthood is supposed to change that, but marriage assures that the lesson is learned. Eventually. The big aha comes when we begin to comprehend that everyone is "married" at the soul level. The collective consciousness is starting to respond to that realization. Just look around. One by one sparks of light are breaking out in celebratory dance until some day the whole earthly sphere will be filled with radiance, fusing into a great symphony the present chaotic cacophony. This lively shot of the bride and groom in Florida last weekend was taken by my talented brother, Mark. He captured in one frame the mood of the whole event. Check out www.gratefulness.org for more great quotes and other surprises, like inspirational free e-cards for every occasion.

Today's Weather Report: Continued cloudy and cool. In the sixties as a high. This time of year cloudiness is pretty common. So common some folks start to suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder, otherwise known as SED. Dr. Kaye (that's what I'm called when I'm giving unauthorized medical advice) says that everyone needs at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day. Without that, many bodies start saying "Argh." The five fruits and vegetables idea isn't bad either. How about rice once a day to get in tune with a majority of the rest of the world? It's good, cheap and filling. Can't beat that combination.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Political Meat

Sympathy and subtlety are seasonings
rarely applied to political meat.

Tom Murray
Hastings Ctr for Bioethics

Of Note: Although politics is as spiritual an area as any other, it is not often lately that this blog descends into that world. But, this quote could not be passed up because it summed up the current scene so well. It's another good reason to be a vegetarian. Our cat, Gipper, would want no part of that, nor politics either, as he surveys the grounds waiting for his next meal.

Today's Weather Report: The forecasted low for today is 39 degrees--the first thirty-something temp for the season, I think. It's been quite overcast all day, except for a few brief moments late this morning when the sun popped out to say hello and welcome us back to northern Wisconsin. We've been in Florida for Susanne's wedding and the temps were really warm there, of course. Nice to get back to cool, sweater temps.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tomorrow is a New Day

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it serenely
and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of Note: Tomorrow we will be heading to Jacksonville, Florida to celebrate the marriage of our daughter, Susanne, and her fiancee, Rick. She's had quite a week already. On Monday she found out that she passed the Florida bar exam and also started her first job at a law firm. If I had one piece of advise to give Susanne and Rick as they head into this new adventure, it would be these wise words of Emerson. Adhering to such forgiving behavior would guarantee a long life and a strong marriage. A kiss upon retiring isn't a bad idea either!

Today's Weather Report: Sublime weather, long shadows, full sun. It doesn't get any better than this. Last evening rain pummelled the vicinity so badly that for a short time our satellite went out. The dog curled up in a ball by the bed hoping for our protection during the loud thunderclaps. On another note, our five cats have started to use the litter box inside again, so obviously they know fall is in the air.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Secret of Life

The Implosion Theory

The secret of Life is dipolarity.
Without opposite poles in nature,
there is no attraction and repulsion.
Without attraction and repulsion,
there is no movement.
Without movement there is no Life.

Viktor Schauberger

Of Note: This is Love as explained by a scientist. Would you have recognized it? Many would say that the religiously inclined individual would have an edge on spirituality and all things mystical. That's not necessarily so. The teachings of ancient wisdom would give that credit to scientists, who as a group are on the cusp of seeing Life for the first time. It makes no difference that many of these esteemed people don't believe in a God. God probably wouldn't believe in the God of many religious folks either.

Today's Weather Report: It's a-blowing now with afternoon and evening of thunderstorms promised. This morning brought sprinkles now and then, here and there (otherwise known as scattered.) Temps are in the delightful 70's.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Treat the Earth Well

Treat the Earth well:
it was not given to you
by your parents,
it was loaned to you
by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth
from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.

Ancient Native American Proverb

Of Note: This shot of downed trees was taken in the woods surrounding our house a few weeks back, just as the sun was setting for the day. These mighty trees were blown over by a huge, quite destructive storm in 2000 and then cut up and returned to the woods to become part of the next forest. Without the agency of fire, it will take years and years for these trees to disintegrate. On another note, today being the first official day of fall, we can contemplate how our human footprints impact Mother Earth. The current controversy about man's impact on global warming is bringing to the forefront the truth--man's consciousness makes the first impact followed by physical signs and symptoms, not the other way around.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and grayish with no shadows. Breezy as well which usually means a storm is somewhere in the vicinity. That would be fine with me. Storms make for good contemplation days. A reader might wonder why a weather report every day would have any merit. My thoughts: as a humble, lay scientist, it struck me that a daily tally might track any changes in climate over time in my little neck of the woods. Given 30 years or so it might have some meaning. Or might not as the case may be. Guess we'll see. I've got 30 years to watch for change.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Piece On Peace


Matthew 5:9

The 26th United Nation's International Day of Peace is celebrated today the world over. This celebration offers a chance for some to put down arms and for others to join arms in recognition of peace.

The Associated Press said that guns even fell silent in Afghanistan for the day: "The UN said tens of thousands of international and Afghan soldiers as well as Taliban militants 'all stood down from offensive military operations in support of the biggest international peace day effort that Afghanistan has known.' A US Coalition spokesman said, 'It's crazy, but apparently the Taliban sent out an email saying they were going to abide by it if we were, and we definitely are. It's a great day to show Afghans exactly what peace is like and how their everyday lives would be if they just booted out the bad guys.' "

Of course, it's never that simple, is it? A great Tibetan Master has said that peace and war are not the true opposites. Peace and change, peace and movement, are the real ones: "Therefore, I deal not with peace, but am concerned with love, which oft disturbs the equilibrium of matter and material circumstance, and can consequently work against so-called peace."

The May/June 2002 Beacon Magazine article "Preparing For True Peace" went on to say: "All polarities, all true opposites, when properly integrated form a complete whole. To achieve a true and lasting peace, change, movement and a deep upheaval of the foundations of human society are necessary. Yet, too often peace is invoked prematurely before the necessary transformational changes have been put in place. . . To achieve true peace may well require the disruption of familiar equilibrium. Like wisdom, peace is 'a pearl of great price' that must be won by humanity through sacrifice of self-interest to the common good and the welfare of the whole."

The key according to this wise sage is a commitment to justice which recognizes the rights and needs of all through sharing, to the spirit of cooperation based on active goodwill and the principle of right human relations as well as to a sense of personal responsibility for group, community and national affairs. Entering this door boldly would take us beyond the personality's desire for peace at any price and put us on the side of those working to establish the Kingdom of God on earth where True Peace will reign.

Of Note: These gigantic sunflowers were large when this shot was captured but have grown to the size of dinner plates since. If it is anything like last year, the birdies will soon be enjoying the tightly packed seeds right off the plant. With delight and amazement, we watched these wee creatures enjoy their dinner last fall--often accompanied by aerial swoops and loud fights over the best morsels. The cats watched in amazement as well because the 12-foot tall sunflowers were way too high for the flying dinner they had in mind.

Today's Weather Report: Perfect weather today and for most of this coming week. We really appreciate each and every temperate day because it is not unusual to have the first snow fall in October.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Fire and Water God

To the God Who is in the FIRE
and Who is in the waters;
To the God Who has suffused
Himself through all the world;
To the God Who is in summer plants
and in the lords of the forest;

To that God be adoration, adoration.

Sh'vet U panishad, II.17
as quoted in The Treatise on Cosmic Fire
By A. A. Bailey

Of Note: Fall is officially arriving this weekend, and thus I'm ceremoniously turning off the water pump that supplies our garden stream. It has been a great garden year, plenty of rainfall and lots of sunshine. Probably the best ever. Our lake above is the continuous, shimmering backdrop to the splendor of the gardens. For some reason, God always feels particularly present at the changing of the seasons. These divine cycles and many more are covered extensively in The Treatise on Cosmic Fire, an insightful tome covering the breadth and width of ancient wisdom as is now available.

Today's Weather Report: Although it was cloudy early this morning, no clouds grace the expansive sky at this moment. Things could change as our weather gauge showed showers. Either way, we will enjoy a glorious day in Wisconsin's northwoods. As my husband always says, "It doesn't get any better than this." And, of course, he's always right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller

Of Note: Have you ever wondered why we think nature is beautiful? Must be that some time in the long, long ago part of our collective brain got in touch with our collective heart, and they discussed the matter. I think the brain might have said the quote above to the heart, relinquishing nature to the department of love. The rest is history, as they say.

Today's Weather Report: It was a lovely bright day in the 70's, though it felt much warmer. Shorts and a tank top was the order of the day with hair pulled up in a knot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flying Imagination

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

Lauren Bacall

Of Note: I'm sure the great magician, Merlin, was an expert creator using an imagination full of the stars and the heavens. We can all be Merlins and in doing so can change the world for the better in big ways and small. If we got really good at it, he could move on to other things.

Today's Weather Report: Strong sunny day in the 70's. When driving to town this morning, it was interesting to see the sun coming up in the east over the foggy Seeley Hills and the full moon setting ever so slowly in the western sky. That would have certainly made an inspirational panoramic photo. But, alas, I had no camera to capture the moment. It will just have to be held as a brief moment in my imagination where it can grow into something even better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reducing Inequity

Humanity's greatest advances
are not in its discoveries--
but in how those discoveries
are applied to reduce inequities.

Whether through democracy,
strong public education,
quality health care or
broad economic opportunity--
reducing inequity is the
highest human achievement.

Bill Gates

Of Note: Only arm-in-arm can mankind move forward in consciousness. Reducing inequity through the spirit of cooperation and a sense of shared responsibility is one of the first steps in the elimination of the sense of separateness, otherwise known as evil. Although some may take issue with the Gates' activities or wealth, though not perfect, no one can argue that they have been worldwide philanthropic leaders in this service endeavor. These little terra cota women grace my garden and are symbolic of the intrinsic interconnectedness we all share.

Today's Weather Report: Wow, a stunningly sunny day with those long, lanky shadows falling across the road. It is supposed to climb to the low 80's from the current 50's. That's quite a temperature differential. Sometimes that means more than one set of clothes for the day, especially when planning to work outside.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Dew of Tears

All beauty of this world
is wet with the dew of tears.

Theodor Haecker

Of Note: Natural disasters are meant to get our attention. This current one, Hurricane Ike, certainly has done just that as it lumbers its way northeast. Construction and destruction, life and death, go hand in hand. In these times of crises, it is easy to forget that the deliverance of powerful universal energy is neutral. It is up to humanity to interpret.

Today's Weather Report: Aha, the sun is just now peeking out after a very foggy morning. It was a cool but crisp 42 degrees at 9 am. Maybe tonight with the clouds receding, we will be able to see the shining full moon. I have to remind myself the luminescence is actually reflected sunlight not anything to which the moon actually agrees. One day we will know the history of the moon, and I bet we are all in for a surprise.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Giving of Yourself

When you give of yourself,
you receive more than you give.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Of Note: My sister, Marie, took this dramatic shot when visiting Galveston a couple of months ago. Since she returned, I've included several of Marie's Galveston photos in this blog. Many of the structures featured in her pictures are now washed away. As this drama unfold and the massive amount of destruction is revealed, many folks will get the opportunity to give. The world will be richer for it and not only in the material sense.

Today's Weather Report: Clouds and rain continues, though during a break I went on a walk-about and got some great dripping shots of sunflowers, chives, pitcher plants and much more. It is always good to get 15 minutes of sunshine a day, and I work hard to do that. Sometimes on days like this, it is a challenge.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Moment of Commitment

The moment one
definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur
to help one that would never
otherwise have occurred.


Of Note: Marie took these unfolding shots of an "ordinary" zinnia in her new garden. Note the flower within a flower in the top view. In the Eastern tradition, humans are often symbolically described as having the structure of stacked lotus flowers, otherwise known as chakras. The lotus flowers represent the fire of electricity which brings us Life. The insects in the bottom view don't care about that, though, as they go about busily doing their bug-thing.

Today's Weather Report: Last week I mentioned Hurricane Ike possibly hitting Galveston. Well, it certainly did--with news just now pouring in about the damage it caused. The whole island was probably flooded because the storm surge over-topped the levies. We will find out more as the day progresses. My brother and family in Houston fared well with little damage. The hurricane is going past the Dallas area where most of my extended family lives and then heading to Chicago where more of them reside. Here it is set to storm as it has been doing all week with temps in the 60's. With everything else going on weather-wise, I'm almost embarrassed to mention it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Stillness of the Quiet

In the stillness of the quiet,
if we listen we can hear
the whisper of the heart
giving strength to weakness,
courage to fear, hope to despair.

Howard Thurman

Of Note: This quote was posted yesterday, 9-11, at www.gratefulness.org. It would seem that after that fateful life-changing day, a spiritual quiet settled over the world just for an instant. This moment was the promise that we will return to that place someday because we have felt and heard it. Our collective actions will determine how soon that day arrives.

Today's Weather Report: Clouds cover the sky from horizon to horizon, but the rain has stopped for the time being--though it looks like rain any minute. The garden is starting to wind down, and that has created moments of quiet for me. After a very busy summer, the fall is welcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dark Side of the Moon

Everyone is a moon
and has a dark side
which he never shows
to anybody.

Mark Twain

Of Note: And I might add, many times even to him or herself. In Ancient Wisdom this dark side is called the Dweller on the Threshold, who must be faced squarely and conquered before ascending into the pollution-free Kingdom of God. This shot was taken just the other evening across the field that runs adjacent to the Namekagon River.

Today's Weather Report: Rain, rain, rain. Drenching, down pouring rain. Temps in the 60's make it almost a perfect storm. The lake is still down dramatically, and one can only hope this will help the situation. I wonder if the lake will ever be full again. It is lovely now, but it was so much more lovely then.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looking For Beauty

When we look for the beauty in others,
we discover
the best in

Martin Walsh

Of Note: It is easy for us to find beauty throughout nature as Marie did in this relaxing spring picture of Texas dogwoods. We seem to lose this ability when it comes to our fellow men and women. Just picture the day in a meritocracy, and it will come, when politicians will love one another and be incapable of tearing the other one down. When the unselfish person gets the job because he or she truly is the best one for it, not because they campaigned unscrupulously for the position of power. These current campaigns are like clawing animals vying over meat. Quite an unseemly display.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and cool, in the low 40's this morning. No long shadows today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For the Love of All Our Children


William McDonough

Of Note: This question is asked by the visionary pioneer architect whose ultimate goal is to "help create a world where there is no waste, and where all buildings and all products have a positive effect on the environment." Sounds impossible, doesn't it--but according to McDonough, it's quite doable. He says it is time for the "Next Industrial Revolution" and is leading the charge. www.McDonough.com. Marie captured this quiescent bee contemplating his next move in her new garden, which she rates as a huge first-year success. I'm sure the bee species would appreciate any additional earthly stewardship humans would bring to the table. They certainly do all they can to help us.

Today's Weather Report: The sun is out casting those long fall shadows. It was 35 degrees this morning. It may be the day to take the air conditioner out of the bedroom window.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Making the Darkness Conscious

One does not become enlightened
by imagining figures of light,
but by making the darkness conscious.

Carl Jung

Of Note: I missed my sister Marie's Texas sunset pictures so found this one from her trip to Galveston this summer. As it turns out, Galveston may get hit in the impending landfall of Hurricane Ike which is barreling across the Gulf. As to this quote by Jung, one could argue that it would be better to leave well enough alone as far as darkness is concerned. But at a deeper level, this is paradoxically just what goes on when one becomes enlightened.

Today's Weather Report: It was the usual, cool and cloudy, at first but has blossomed into a fall-tinged, sunny day. Fall has a feeling to it that no other season does--must have to do with the angle of the sun.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Fate of All Peoples

The Fate of All Peoples and Nations is Determined by the
Values which Govern Their Decisions

The human and world crisis of today is basically spiritual, testing the character and intention of all men and women. This provides opportunity to reappraise the values we accept as a personal standard of behavior. The world of the future depends on what what one of us chooses to do today.

These values include:
A Love of Truth--essential for a just, inclusive and progressive society;
A Sense of Justice--recognition of the rights and needs of all;
A Spirit of Cooperation--based on active goodwill and the principle of right human relationships;
A Sense of Personal Responsibility--for group, community and national affairs;
Serving the Common Good--through the sacrifice of selfishness; Only what is good for all is good for each one.

These are spiritual values, inspiring the conscience and the consciousness of those who serve to create a better way of life.

Lucis Trust

Of Note: This Lucis Trust quote probably dates from the 1940's or 1950's. It is as true today as then--but maybe even more so as Humanity nears an important cusp in its collective development of consciousness. You might wonder how these ostrich ferns fit into this theme. They reminded me of the cross currents of consciousness seemingly going in different directions but ultimately--and successfully--all finding the light.

Today's Weather Report: Cool rain yesterday and more rain today. On top of the rain we got last week, we are doing very well in that department. I looked at my garden diary from last year and found that September 2007 was a very rainy month. In fact, it rained most every day. Sounds like Seattle. We've got a little deer hanging around ready to feed on the garden remnants when we're not looking. At this time of year, that's just fine.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bringing Sunshine to Others


Sir James Barrie

Of Note: If everything is energy and light, then this apple is energy and light as well. In that sense it could be thought of as sunshine itself--part of a continuum really from the less dense to the more dense. At least it's something to think about.

Today's Weather Report: It was below 40 degrees this morning and might be time to start bringing the plants in from the porch. The porch plants don't seem to mind 40 and above, but below 40 they start frowning, especially the cacti. It's no small thing to bring in all those plants, and every year they get heavier.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Most Favorable Light

Make it a practice to judge persons
and things in the most favorable
light at all times, in all circumstances.

St. Vincent De Paul

Of Note: Just think, if we all did this, it would change the world.

Today Weather Report: Well, we put on long pants and several layers today for the first time in many months. Although it's in the 60's, no sun makes for a chilly day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slowing Down

Slow down and take the time to really see.
Take a moment to see what is going on around
you right now, right where you are.
You may have missed something wonderful?

J. Michael Thomas

Of Note: This picture is full of surprises if one takes time to look.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday after a huge downpour the temps dropped 10 degrees, almost instantly. We went from muggy and humid to pleasantly cool with a little breeze. Just like today. Perfect.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Be Kind


Philo of Alexandria

Of Note: On the journey of life, the battles that we face are numerous and varied but the fact of battles does not change. That apparently is part of this Earthly existence. Inertia, movement, rhythm is the nature of the cyclical beast. The real lesson is how do we respond? Until we are consciously love and compassion, the cycles will continue, over and over again.

Today's Weather Report: Well, this is different. 80 degrees and 80% humidity on September 2nd. This must be the weather we didn't have in July. That makes it shorts and tank tops time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Daily Hug Quota

We need four hugs a day for survival.
We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.
We need twelve hugs a day for growth.

Virginia Satir
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Of Note: On this hot day, it looks like our dog Shara could use some hugs herself.

Today's Weather Report: Speaking of hot, I can't remember another September 1st that had 90 degree temps. I asked Jim if he remembered anything like this. It's his birthday so would know. He says not. Tomorrow storms are predicted but still show the high temps. That could spell trouble.