Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Extending A Hand Of Peace"

We choose,
whether to attack
or to embrace
each other.
~ Joseph Rosendo

There are a million shades of gray between acceptance and rejection, or between peace and war. These confusing gray areas often make it extremely difficult to keep civility in life, and we often fail in maintaining peaceful relations even if we don't wish it to be that way. But sometimes in an adverse situation, a brief window of opportunity will open where we have the chance to extend our hand across a distant gulf between ourselves and another, to build a bridge of peace where there once was none. Even if the effort may not be accepted and the window closes, the best we can do for the world is to try. If we don't try, the moment passes unfulfilled and we have been negligent. And if the attempt is rejected, hopefully the gesture will not go out in vain and may somehow create a small ripple of peace in the world that will carry on.


"An olive branch has long been a symbol of peace, deriving from the olive leaf which a dove carried back to Noah to mark the end of the flood (Genesis 8:11)."
http://www.theolivebranchoc.net

Monday, October 12, 2009

"The Zen Of Being Productive"

"It's an absolute tragedy if you
don't have something that's
really your life's purpose"
~ Julia Child



Julia Child found herself in Paris with her husband who was assigned there by the U.S. State Department. With no children, she searched for something to do with her life. She soon realized that since she loved French cooking, she should master it. The rest is history and now Julia's entire home kitchen is preserved in the Smithsonian Museum. Success comes when you find work that you love to do and dedicate your life to it. May we all be so blessed.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/juliachild/

Friday, September 11, 2009

"WTC"

If I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get him to swap our places
I'd be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
If I only could

~ Kate Bush ~


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Happy 9-9-9"

Happy Birthday to my Private-I friend, Jonny Algiers! Hope that you have a great one. :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"One Pebble Creates a Ripple"

I was reminded of a story that I had heard long ago, when I just read it again on a fascinating new blog that I found, http://artofmanliness.com :

A man walking on the beach saw a child reaching down to pick up small objects and then throwing them into the ocean. He called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The child looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" To this, the child replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the man commented, "But do you not realize that there are thousands of starfish? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the child bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one." ~ Adapted from Loren Eiseley "The Star Thrower"

Which reminds me of a favorite Charles Dickens quote, "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." Which means that, assisting someone in any need enriches your life and the life of the person that you help, so that both parties have reached their purpose of meaningful existence, together.

More on Joel Barker's wonderful enterpretation of Eiseley's story: http://www.starthrower.com/star_thrower_story_script.htm

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Happy Man On The Moon Day"

It's been forty years, and there is still no national American holiday to celebrate the first time mankind ever set foot on a 'planet' not his own -- the ultimate frontier. I fear that one day it will all be forgotten once those of us who saw it happen are not around to remind people. Please, kids of the future, don't let that happen. You may not understand how wonderful it felt when it happened for us in our time, but if you forget, it might never happen again -- for you or your children to experience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Be Your Best Anyway"

These words by Mother Teresa of Calcutta have gotten me through some very difficult times in the past, and in the present. Not only to keep me pressing on and to not give up trying to do what I know is the right thing to do in the face of oppressive odds, but to also remind me that all the efforts of life are no good if I don't show love to others in the process. In the end it doesn't matter what other people think, if you keep you doing everything with kindness and to the best of your ability.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"The Tao Of Kung Fu"

video

Even though I follow Judeo/Christian beliefs, I can also appreciate the benefits of Zen concepts applied to everyday living. The TV series "Kung Fu" came at a point when I seriously needed to make some sense of certain things in the world, and the precepts approached in the series filled a void in my psyche. As shallow as it might sound, the Kung Fu series to me was one of those milestone markers in your life that changes it forever. It is a mere TV show, but it's not really different than being profoundly moved by a novel, a piece of music, or a work of art. My soul will always belong to God and what the Bible teaches and I won't compromise that, but some of the Zen/Tao teachings help me apply my Christian beliefs to the corporeal world that we live in as humans, until the spirit world will come to take me one day.

David Carradine: December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009

If you enjoy the peaceful teachings of the Kung Fu series, a fine collection has been posted on Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=yinyangnature&view=videos

I recently found an excellent blog that is reviewing the series here:

http://kwaichangcaine.blogspot.com

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Learn And Live"

"Learn as if you'll live forever.
Live as if you'll die tomorrow."

- Gandhi

"Song of Shambala" painted by Nicholas Roerich

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Ward's Words Of Wisdom"

"When a person's made a mistake,
that's when they need understanding the most"

Ward Cleaver

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Lenten Reflections From EWTN"

For those who participate in celebrating the Lenten traditions by giving up some worldly conveniences or luxuries, Eternal Word Television Network (aka Mother Angelica's Catholic satellite station) begins their annual Lenten daily devotionals with a positive way of engaging in the spirit of respectful abstinence during this time. Even if a person does not believe in the Easter message, the world could be a better place with the above reflections practiced as habits by all of humankind, including myself. Have a blessed and uplifting Lenten season.

http://www.ewtn.com/
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/lent/

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Keep Trying, Keep Going"

"Start by doing what's necessary,
then do what's possible,
and suddenly you are doing
the impossible."
St. Francis of Assisi

http://www.assisiweb.com/vita_san_francesco_en.html


Sunday, January 11, 2009

"2009: The International Year Of Astronomy"

From the "Astronomy Picture Of The Day" website: "Astronomers all over planet Earth invite you to experience the night sky as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This year was picked by the International Astronomical Union and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization because it occurs 400 years after Galileo turned one of the first telescopes toward the heavens. Peering through that small window, Galileo discovered that the Moon has craters, Venus has phases, Jupiter has moons, and Saturn has rings. This year you can discover these and many modern wonders of the amazing overhead tapestry that is shared by all of humanity. If, like many others, you find the night sky wondrous and educational, be sure to attend an IYA2009 event in your area, and tell any schools and children that might be interested. Also, please feel free to explore the extensive IYA2009 web pages to find international media events that include blogs, webcasts and much much more."

If you just want to take an armchair approach to the stargazing, you can see some especially nice astronomy images at these sites:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Apollo 8: 40 Years Ago"

"Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you...all of you on the good earth."

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap081224.html

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Another Passing Of Note"

As there were Famous Monster reunions in the afterlife recently, there must have been an epic Star Trek reunion as well. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry passed this month. Baby-boomers are losing all their mentors and touchstones, as the world loses people who have inspired others so positively with their lives and vocations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majel_Barrett
http://www.johnshoffner.com/star-trek-autographs.html

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"R.I.P. Mr. Ackerman"

"I felt that the primary authors of science fiction were opening my eyes ... to a better and more fascinating world," says Forrest J Ackerman of the genre he has championed.

Thank you Forry for all of the fun that you gave to us in our lives.

http://www.sfwa.org/news/2008/fackerman.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_J_Ackerman

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Grampa Al's Restaurant"

This week as I was going through some boxes of memorabilia, I came across an ad I had saved for Al Lewis' restaurant in NYC. Back in 1987, Grampa Al of "The Munsters" fame, opened an nice Italian restaurant in the Village. I got to go there once. I remember it being unusually pink inside. And we had a waiter who looked like a younger version of Mikhail Baryshnikov. The food was good. We didn't get to see Grampa, but the ambiance was nice and relaxed. The above photo of the window from outside is nicked from the Interweb, and the ad I cut out of The Aquarian Weekly newspaper is below. Many thanks to my friend who took me there. Only in New York! :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Anne Rice's New Book And Life"

Many periodicals pull Anne Rice out of their resource files for Halloween because of the horror/vampire genre that she is known best for, but this Halloween there is current literary news to report on her: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081030/ap_en_ot/books_anne_rice

Rice has written a book about her return to her Catholic beliefs, that many of her fans are curious about since she has moved on from writing vampire books to stories about the life of Jesus. Her first two books on this subject, "Out of Egypt" and "The Road To Cana" (the series is entitled "Christ The Lord"), are now accompanied by her latest release covering her life and return to her faith. The two "Christ The Lord" books resulted from her extensive study of Biblical and secular history during and after the re-igniting of her faith. This book seems to be about that search, as well as how she fell away from her faith in the first place. As a fellow child of the 1950s/60s, I can relate.

I haven't read the "Christ The Lord" books yet, as I am a cheap-skate and almost always wait until books like that (non-art books) are printed in paperback, but I plan to soon. I may not wait for the paperback version to read her spiritual biography though, as I'm very curious and anxious to read about her personal journey -- I have a feeling that there are many similarities between hers and mine. More can be learned at her website: http://www.annerice.com/

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Dr. Atomic Opera Live At The Movies"

Coming to a theater near you, "The Met Live In HD"! The next Met opera to play at some theaters in the new genre of taking opera to the masses, is "Dr. Atomic" (about the development of the atomic bomb) on Nov 8, which I am totally going to see. I have never heard of it before, but since I'm fascinated by the topic of early atomic science, I'm looking forward to trying it out. I'm always up for expanding my horizons with the operatic experience. The admission is pretty steep for these Live Met shows (last year was $18.00), so let's hope that it doesn't disappoint. It's close enough to my birthday that I'll make a little mini-celebration out of it for me, myself, and I. Maybe sneak some chocolate cake in with me for a snack! :-)

The official website of the production is very impressive, and they have done extensive research to make the experience authentic to history, and gone to great lengths it appears to get the atomic props and material exactly correct. For those interested in the backstage details, there are many categories to browse including sets, costumes, information on the libreto, and historical links on the official website.

Here's the production's site: http://www.doctor-atomic.com/
To find a theater near you: http://www.fathomevents.com/

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Soon Gone, But Never Forgotten"

There must be lots of crying in New York, because tonight is the last game to be played in the old Yankee Stadium. I was lucky to get to see a couple Yankee games while I lived in NY. My own first stadium experience was right out of a Ken Burns PBS documentary. A coworker in my lab had extra tickets, and I won the lottery after all the guys that he asked first couldn't go. Sometimes a gal gets lucky that way. After we went through the less-than-memorable ticket area getting searched, we headed for the nosebleed section. But first Jim said that we had to go into the stadium through a tunnel in the lower deck, since it was my first time there. As we walked through the tunnel at almost ground level, the shiny yellow sunlight poured through the other end. Outside the hole, unveiled as we walked to the opening, my eyes were saturated with the bright green, orange, and turquoise, of the checker-mowed grass, pristine dirt, and clear sky. You could almost hear the angel chorale singing a heavenly falsetto, "Awhhhhhhhhhh!" as we breached the tunnel into the sunshine. It was an amazing sight -- a historic small piece of land framed by the stadium seats and what was left of the Yankee picket fence along the top -- you could almost see the ghosts of Yankees players and fans long gone. I was very grateful to Jim for taking the effort to color my first pro-game with that kind of philosophical experience. The second game I saw at the Stadium was on an IBM Club trip. It was an Old-Timers' game on a sweltering day in July. I got to see all the old guys in miniature out on the field, and I have the famous ant-sized figures on film for posterity. That was a great day too. Good-bye Yankee Stadium. :-(