Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shangri-La







Years ago I saw the movie, "Lost Horizon" (the 1937 version, not the crappy 1973 version), about finding Shangri-La. I remember when the pretty, young female star decides to flee this little slice of heaven in the mountains, she turns into a wrinkled old lady. I know that scene must have been some guy's fear of aging, but otherwise the movie really stuck with me. The fictional Shangri-La was based on a Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the mystical concept, Shambala. To me, Tibet is Shangri-La. Tibet is not only a physical place, but a state of being. His Holiness, the IVth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetans. He is a man of peace, and the embodiment of compassion. He does not want Tibet to be independent of China, rather an interdependent piece, much like that of an organ in a body. China is this big organism, and it wants to cut out its heart, as it fears its own spiritual roots and emotions. As any living organism, a brain needs its heart to function. Cutting out ones heart will only cause grief and guaranteed death. I was once at a talk His Holiness gave to a small group of people. Someone asked him how he saw the world, and whether we were moving in a good direction. He said he sensed an overall positive movement and that he was hopeful. I hope all this media attention and focus on China's internal agita (heartburn would be apropos) will help propel the world toward greater peace. There is much unrest going on in this world. I know that the Dalai Lama's purpose is to help in the healing of our planet, and its inhabitants. As the living embodiment of the goddess of compassion (Avalokitesvara, or Quan Yin in the female form), His Holiness is here to teach us about happiness, peace within ourselves, and peace for those with whom we share the planet. As Spock would say, May he live long and prosper. To a person, we all benefit from the Dalai Lama's compassion and wisdom. Spock's, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Death and Transfiguration







It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

HAPPY SPRING!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ides of March















Miriam Shostak Krasner


January 27th, 1925 -
March 15th, 2002


My Mother, My Teacher, My Friend

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Panache





My mom had panache. She always wore bright, colorful dresses, and carried the look with ease. Her favorite dresses were made from the bold fabrics of marimekko, the Finnish design company. When she died, one of my sister-in-laws made a quilt for my father out of dresses my mom used to wear. Of course I wouldn't think of having her cut the marimekko ones, though there were still plenty others from which to choose. The quilt was a very loving gift. Now that my father has died, I have the quilt hanging in my healing room. My mom's energy and love radiates from the quilt. The entire healing room is infused by it, as am I.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love thy Neighbor as Thyself


I was just looking out my kitchen window and noticed my neighbor, John, up in his trees, cutting back some branches so his fruit trees below could get some more sunshine. I went out to see how he was doing, and he said he was having a marvelous time being in the tree. He was enjoying the healing that he was getting from the tree. (And that wasn't me merely "reading" his body language. I actually asked him if he could feel the love from the tree, and he smiled and said yes.) I was so excited, and had to run back in to get my camera. John gets it. He is a gifted gardener, and we get to experience his largesses every summer. He is always handing over the fence to us some of the yummiest tomatoes and cucumbers and dill, and mint...He also fills his backyard with gigantic beaming sunflowers. What makes him such a great gardener is that he is in touch with mother nature. John is originally from the town of Kastoria, in Greece. He has brought with him the strong sense of connection the Greeks have with nature. He is a mortal who knows to respect the power of the goddess, and Demeter in particular. I absolutely love having him(and of course his soul mate, Constantina) as a neighbor. Ones home is ones nest, so it is important to be both encircled in love, and reaching out in love. What you sow, so shall you reap.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Big Apple


I had no idea the iconic flatiron building in Manhattan got its name because its shape reminded people of a clothes iron. Who knew? But every time I see it, I think of my mom, which of course makes me smile. She used to love taking us on the L.I.R.R. to Manhattan for some "cultcha". They show the picture of the building on an intriguing new show. What makes it so cool is that it incorporates past lives and the quest by the protagonist to find his true love and soul mate. He has been around for 400 years, and he applies the knowledge he has learned in all those lives. There is no reason to recreate the wheel when knowledge is accessible within us. And, I also like that he never lies. He never goes down a slippery slope, thus always stays true to himself. The following is the summary of the show from the website - "NEW AMSTERDAM centers on a brilliant and enigmatic New York homicide detective unlike any other. And he has a profound secret -- he is immortal...In 1642, JOHN AMSTERDAM, then a Dutch soldier in the colony of New Amsterdam – later to become New York City -- stepped in front of a sword to save the life of a Native American girl during a massacre of her indigenous tribe. The girl in turn rescued Amsterdam, weaving an ancient spell that conferred immortality upon him. Amsterdam will not age, she told him, until he finds his one true love. Only then will he become whole and ready for mortality...Having witnessed its entire history from colonial outpost to mega-metropolis, John Amsterdam is the living embodiment of New York City. He and the island of Manhattan are joined -- part and parcel." There is so much crap on TV. It's nice when you find a multi-layered nugget that makes you think long after the show is over. Call me a sap, but it is a romantic show, and one that rings true. Anything less is bupkus. My Brooklyn born Mom taught me that.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In the arms of an angel


We watched Jodie Foster's "The Brave One" last night. It was a formulaic movie, but the last song was a haunting one. I looked up the soundtrack, and it was Sarah Mclachlan's "Answer." I went back on youtube and listened again to her song, "Angel." I don't think I know of anyone who doesn't cry when he or she listens to "Angel." There are some musicians who are channels right from the source. They produce music that resonates deeply within us, striking our core. Speaking of angels, our partners are our angels. We are put on this planet to be with one special person. It is a thing of beauty to be able to witness that in couples we meet along our journey. A serendipitous reconnection with a former college roommate of mine this week (more on that wonderful connection in a moment) reminded me of a couple who had finally found each other, soul mates who brought each other happiness and joy. Ken and Carolyn Andrews were the co-Masters of Leverett House, at Harvard College. Every Friday, they invited students to their Masters' Open House. Carolyn always served her famous Irish soda bread, Dunkin Donut holes (a Boston classic) and Apple Jack cider. She was the consummate hostess. Ken was a Professor at Harvard Business School, and Editor of the Harvard Business Review, but he was first and foremost a Mark Twain scholar. Their love and respect for one another spilled over into their interactions with students. We all looked forward to those Open Houses. Even the words, open house, was a metaphor for the overflow of joy that emanated from their partnership. Just look at the happiness coming from this photo. This period in my life brings me back to one of my former roommates, Lori. I have much gratitude toward her, as she showed me by her actions how important it was to acknowledge those who fed us. In our house dining hall, at every meal, Lori always made sure to say hello and to speak a few words to each server in the food line. She knew all their names, and made sure all of us knew them as well. As it was Boston, almost everyone serving was either Theresa, Mary, or Margaret! I remember them all clear as day. Sweet, sweet women. No wonder I gained so much weight living there! Lori has four daughters now. Like anyone who gets to be raised with unconditional love, and taught the value of acknowledging angels along our path, they are very lucky girls. Lori - Illegitimi non carborundum! You go, girl...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Love Story

I will get to the Wachowski Brothers' reading in a few days. I am veering off to write about two friends of mine who I adore, and with whom I spent the weekend. It is such a joyful experience spending time in the company of a couple that truly loves each other. Patty and John are such a couple. Each thrives on making the other partner happy. Patty is the consummate hostess, and prides herself on her glorious garden. John makes sure their guests are fed (four meals at a minimum!), keeps Patty's garden watered, and makes sure she has all that she needs. Retired from the crazy world of Hollywood, they were both actors in some of the original Twilight Zone episodes. Their fifteen year old dog, Zoey, died in Patty's arms a few weeks ago. They gave her a good life. And now the cycle of renewal begins anew with Mrs. Brown (though Patty likes to call her Missy), their new chocolate teacup poodle. Once again, two humans are given the gift of unconditional love from a dog. These two will reciprocate in kind. Forty years of marriage, forty years of love, and forty years of laughter. I wish them a minimum of forty more.