Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Quote of the day

If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and dont be afraid... and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.

Joseph Campbell ~

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Food for thought

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.
Og Mandino

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Quote of the day

Free QuotesManifest Destiny Now ...Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home.The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
- Charles Swindoll

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sometimes, I feel like a Motherless Child

Every year on the 4th of may Holland wraps herself in a thick blanket of silence. She reflects inwards to the past, to the world wars all these years gone by and she feels the cold embrace of sorrow wrap itself like shredded seaweed around her heart.

She is enshrouded in loss and so she mourns deeply for the sons of her womb now lost forever.
There is an official ceremony to commemorate this loss; and everyyear wreaths and flowers are laid down at the foot of the monument .

The queen, the mother of the nation, speeks to the people. She speeks of their lost husbands, sons and fathers. She speaks of their courage and bravery and valour. She speaks of the sacrifice of their lives for the wellbeing and continued exisitence of the Motherland.

Yes, Holland does not forget her fallen soldiers.Year after year on this day, she will bow her head and gnash her teeth and clutch her bosom in pain.To honour the lost sons of the land, she has even set up a monument in honour of the Unknown Soldier.

This is a mother's love at it's fiercest. Who dares stand between?

WE Dare!!

We the daughters you have ignored and forgotten. The daughters who in our own way fought alongside your sons. We the daughters who also selflessly gave our pound of flesh time after time for the good of the nation.
We were there all along in different shapes and sizes holding the fort at home when our men were gone and keeping the faith alive back home. We were there in the hearts of the men there on the battlefields, as beacons of hope, spurring them to go on; one step after the other. We hugged their spirits and warmed their minds as we whispered in their ears during their brief respite of sleep saying "come back safe, come back whole, come back to me". A fair share of us walked the edge in the resisitance, smuggled behind enemy lines to pendle back and forth, playing Russian Roulette with a smile on our faces.
Now the great wars are gone and we are left now only with memories of our loss. Mother Holland cries for her boys but fails to hear the lament of her daughters. "There are also casualties here" we shout, "Can you not see our pain? " We also are victims of war and doubly so, victims of the sons who raped and plundered and dishonoured and ruined.
The dead soldiers are mourned and the living came home as heroes. The daughters were publicly shamed, shaved and spat upon for sleeping with the enemy; our sorry offspring forever the bitter rejects of the Motherland. There is no mention of our bravery or of our courage or our valour. There is no monument for us, the female soldiers of the great wars.

There is no solitary monument standing proud, decked with garlands on the 4th of May; to mark the quiet life and passing of the Unknown Raped Woman. There is no 2 minutes of silence to hear the quiet songs of the sacrifices we made.

Sometimes, I feel like a motherless child....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not All That Wander Are Lost

This old phrase happened to catch my attention a couple of days ago and since then has latched itself onto my subconscious, strutting around and demanding attention. So I've given up fighting its presence. I've turned on the stage lights, given it a soap box, taken a back seat and said, 'Come on, show us what you got'.
So Join me, relax and enjoy the show.

I would be only fair to start by telling you how I rediscovered this line; or better still, how it found me. Well on the 30Th of April, a dutch public holiday with all our kids safely ensconced in the abodes of their other parents, Jer and I decided to treat ourselves to a movie:
Somewhere in the heat of the action, Wolverine bursts out butt naked and tears across the screen seeking shelter in a seemingly deserted barn. Nothing had prepared me for the unexpected pleasure of seeing my hero in the full glory of his birthday suit. However I was given no time to wallow in this unexpected delight because something else, something small caught my eye and attention: It was the image of a small car bumper sticker like the one above; attached to the car of an old couple who had appeared on the scene.
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe there was a pun intended here. I believe that there is a line to be drawn between that sticker and Wolverine, a naked man, origins unknown, dashing from the past into an uncertain future in the middle of nowhere. A Wanderer yes, but not lost. Perhaps a man with a purpose.

Any intended pun here was certainly not wasted on me or I wouldn't be writing this now. As you can see this little statement got to me alright. It embedded itself into my psyche, making itself not just your regular food for thought but a royal banquet. All thoughts and fantasies on Wolverine's glorious behind were effortlessly abandoned as I focused entirely on what I had just read.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost

As fate usually has it with these types of things, the days that followed found me held under a siege of some sorts and constantly bombarded by images, thoughts and writings that reminded me of this one statement. I turned the words over and over like a smooth pebble in my mouth and made tracks and parallels connecting them with my life and the lives of some people I know.
When is one a wanderer and when is one a lost soul? What makes a wanderer deviate from his yellow brick road and disintegrate into a million lost pieces? And how does a lost soul find his way back again to the path? How do things, fallen apart, become whole again?
In all ancient cultures the wanderer archetype has always been represented in many ways. Take Hermes for example the messenger of the gods in the Western mythology. I will not to go into western mythology here since you all are probably quite familiar with it having all followed willingly or not, a formal education based on western cultures, ways and history.
My preference lies in the exploration of the lesser travelled roads. Consequently I choose now to briefy explore the Wanderer archetype from another perspective.
The wanderer I realized, has many faces. He is also the Nomad, the Seeker, the Vagabond and even the Exiled.
He is one who embarks at first on a seemingly ordinary quest until along the way something happens. His path is crossed by something divine and his quest takes on a different nature. It inadvertently becomes a conscious and personal search for the truth, the origin of things and a fundamental search for oneself.

Living this life makes us all wanderers. Walking the paths we choose to take, this inner path like Siddhartha's will ultimately lead to our purpose in life, self fulfillment or even enlightenment. Time and time again we get lost and deviate from the path. We become the Lost Soul as we engage in all practises of self delusion and destruction settling for the false safety of the imitation instead of the real thing. For some the journey is more about being lost than wandering for others it is vice versa.
Currently My partner Jer is furiously walking the wanderer's path and with his permission I will shed a light on a portion of his journey.
Jer is going through a process of some sorts that drives him from moments of ecstatic clarity and childlike purity to hellish confusion, frustration and futility.
He is the Rip van Winkel of his own life's script who has finally woken up from an enchanted sleep only to realise that he has been living in the Matrix all this time. Whilst having fun and enjoying the hollow successes of the false world, he unknowingly lost touch with his inner self, his true goals, his sense of community and his purpose of being.
It is no surprise that on waking up, the realisation of all this, plunged Jer into a sea of despair and What-Nows.
I applaud him now first and foremost for his awakening. The first step on the Wanderer's journey is awakening from the mirage and owning up to reality. This is usually the most painful part of the journey as high levels of shocked despair and hopelessness can send one tumbling right back into the false familiarity of the mirage.
Jer, never one to back down from a challenge has picked himself up and has proceeded on his journey down the rabbit hole. The fact that it is a journey fraught with obstacles reflects on the number of times he has changed his profile on ecademy, as his process of self rediscovery progresses and purpose struggles to be reborn.
Jer has grown weary of superficial business contacts and empty connections. He is looking to connect on a deeper level with people who carry the potential for a genuine connection. A connection whereby both parties would feeling a certain spark connecting them both.
This makes me want to ask you all : What are your views on community and connections? What are you actually prepared to give of yourself and what do you expect from the other person?
Please feel free to air and share.