Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sweet Solstice

We can use any situation, any moment, to come home.
~Tammi Sweet



Winter Solstice by Liga Eglite

In addition to being a massage therapist and an herbal medicine practitioner, Tammi Sweet has taught Anatomy and Physiology for many years. I've taken online classes from Ms. Sweet about various health topics. Not talking about anatomy and physiology today, though. Tammi suggests "Setting Your Intentions for Winter Solstice." She says:
The medicine for many of our modern ailments is not complex, nor does it require expensive interventions.

The simple act of pausing and bringing your full attention to the moment allows your entire being (including your nervous system) to reset, to come into the gorgeous present and remember what is important.

Here are Tammi's summarized suggestions regarding setting your intentions on the shortest day for the upcoming year:
Practice gratitude
Put down the distracting electronics
Go outside
Give yourself space, without an agenda
Be present to your surroundings
Look around at something bigger than you
Smell
Listen
Feel what’s present
Offer kindness

********


"The Yule Log is Prepared" by Orin Zebest

Mocha Yule Log recipe

Monday, December 17, 2018

Peter the Elephant

Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant
(The only harmless great thing)
~John Donne


I found this very entertaining. Clever Peter uses his trunk in a variety of ways:



Ways to help elephants

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Singing the sun in flight

I was...raised with jeong, translated into a deep attachment, bond, and reciprocity for places, people, and things. Everything has meaning because I have jeong for it, and I was born of my parents’ jeong for me, and I fall in love with strangers because I have jeong for each of their unique, individual lives and experiences.
~E.J. Koh


Revisiting poems by the lovely E.J. Koh, plus a song:

FATHER IN HIS OLD AGE
by E.J. Koh

There is a Korean belief that you are born
the parent of the one you hurt most. Watching
my father use chopsticks to split chicken katsu,
he confesses that I may be the reincarnation
of his own father. We finish our waters in silence
and walk home chatting about who to blame
for where we are. He says, The present is the revenge
of the past. Revenge goes too far, I argue. And
in our unhappiness, we both want to know
we cannot pay enough. Pain becomes meaning.
After this life, I fear I’ll never meet him again.

**********

GHOSTS
by E.J. Koh

always sit in swivel chairs that won’t fit under low desks.
A fireplace log shifts
and the center leg of a table sinks without sound.
You can tell a ghost is here when the dog sniffs plaster walls,
or your left elbow itches, or windowpanes
bend where the sun hits.
Just now the staircase called out, old wood rasping.
A ghost has drifted in and he
settles like dust with nothing to gain or lose,
a sculpture in a museum—
until headlights cast beams across the ceiling,
bursting the shadows. If I say
ghost out loud, he will hover over the vacant seat at the table,
a voyeur from my past. No wonder
I enter my house like a visitor.

**********

Ending with a Rainbow Girls song whose title (and a wee bit of the lyrics) come from Dylan Thomas' villanelle Do not go gentle into that good night:



**********
Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!

Yōkai

Even kappa can be washed away by the river.
~Japanese proverb


Legendary Japanese supernatural creatures today. Spooky, cute, funny -- they really cover all the bases.

A kappa (an amphibious yōkai demon said to like cucumbers...an old tradition was to write family members' names on cucumbers and send them afloat on streams to mollify the kappa)
by Katsushika Hokusai

Nurikabe (a plaster wall said to manifest as an invisible wall that impedes or misdirects travelers walking at night)
from Bakemono no e

Rokurokubi (There are two types of Rokurokubi: one whose neck stretches, and one whose head comes off and flies around freely)
from Bakemono no e

Hahakigami (broom spirit)
Toriyama Sekien

Mujina (shape-shifting badger demons who deceive humans)
from the Wakan Sansai Zue
Terajima Ryōan

Onibi (ghost light, spirits born from the corpses of humans and animals, often blue)
Wakan Sansai Zue
Terajima Ryōan

Bakemono Chakutōchō (a tōfu-kozō, a yōkai that takes on the appearance of a child possessing a tray with tōfu on it. Sometimes teased by other yōkai for being weak yōkai)
by Masayoshi Kitao


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tidings

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
~John Muir



Red Parrot on the Branch of a Tree by Itō Jakuchū

Dear Companion,

Did you know that a flock of magpies can be called a "tidings"? I love collective nouns. No magpies here, though -- this tidings is just a communique to tell you that I appreciate that you're here, and that I appreciate any and all other times you've been here. I appreciate your comments, your emails, your ideas, and the things you haven't said, anything you may have quietly taken with you from here and found useful. I'm thankful that we come together on our life's journey and share this time and space. I'm even thankful for the dude who keeps coming here to spam us about Tibetan hikes. He's teaching me something about persistence (not sure if it is his or mine, ha ha).

Thanks for being with me!
Tabatha


Monday, December 10, 2018

Sweet rejoicing

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin


For Music Monday, In Dulci Jubilo from Christmas with The Singers. You know I love choral Christmas music!



Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights / Jamal Khashoggi

I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot.
~Jamal Khashoggi


Today's post is a response to the following message from the international literature festival berlin:
On December 10, 1948, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was announced by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. On this anniversary, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon individuals, institutions, universities, schools, and media who value freedom of the press and human rights to organize and participate in a worldwide reading in memory of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


Poems in honor of
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the memory of Jamal Khashoggi



Preamble
Universal Declaration for Jamal
by Linda Mitchell

Whereas
barbarous acts have outraged us.

Since Jamal,
of our human family, is murdered.

Because Jamal
championed freedoms of justice and peace.

Considering Jamal’s
rights should have been protected.

Insomuch as Jamal’s
dignity and human worth were disregarded.

We reaffirm
better standards for all peoples and nations.

Forasmuch as Jamal
is compatriot, colleague, father, spouse, friend, brother

Albeit
We are not his
Although
We are not his
We reaffirm
This Declaration
Amen
and, Amen

© 2018


*************


Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

REMEMBERING JAMAL KHASHOGGI
by Michelle Kogan
Golden Shovel built from Article 03 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights



A human life is the responsibility of everyone.
When a voice has
spoken for those oppressed, the
voice also needs right-
ful protection. To
slaughter any life
is a blight against all liberty
everywhere, and
all measures of human security
need to unite to right this heinous act of
dehumanization toward that person.

© 2018 Michelle Kogan



*************


Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article VI
by Tabatha Yeatts

For you,
made of the universe,
breathing stars with every breath,

For you,
who unfurled like a flower
in the world's womb,

The right to be seen—
replete with spirit
a complete unit of life—

For you,
spark of life's fire,
personhood
wherever you go.


*************


Article 18.


Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 18

by Harry Yeatts
iambic tetrameter blank verse pentastich

These folks hold tight to their beliefs.
Those folks over there do the same.
And both believe diff'rent from me.
So then we're all non-believers,
And have every right to be.

© 2018


*************


Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.


When
by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
an acrostic

all I need is
determined by
elected officials who
question my value and
understand nothing of the
allowances made
to make
ends meet

perhaps it's time to
reject the
optimistic view
that these
elected officials
can comprehend
the truth of
inadequate
opportunity—
nothing is ever secure.

© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


*************


freedom to be nice
by Donna JT Smith, © 2018
found poem from the UDHR

born
  with reason
  and conscience
  in brotherhood
  everyone
  has rights
   of
   thought
   religion or belief
   to
   understanding
   tolerance
   and friendship
   for
   Peace
 may nothing be
  aimed at
  destruction


*************


A concrete poem by Brenda Davis Harsham:


© 2018


*************


Elizabeth Steinglass has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Liz!

Reading the paper

[Nick] Davies does a bit of teaching, and he has his students imagine that they are asked to write a report on what the weather will be like tomorrow. They interview a woman in one room who says it will be sunny. Then they interview a man in another room who says it's going to rain. Your job, as a journalist, is not to simply write up what you have been told, he says. Your job is to look out the window.
~The Economist


Journalism-related art today, getting ready for a Khashoggi post tomorrow.

Newspaper Reader
photo by Dr. Avishai Teicher

Women’s photojournalism course in Farah City, Afghanistan
photo by ResoluteSupportMedia

Allegory of communist press censorship
by Jacek Halicki

Die Zeitungsleserin
by Adolph von Menzel

Newsgathering
by Suzanne Scheuer
for the U.S. Works Progress Administration

Portrait of Emma Zorn
by Anders Zorn

Trompe l'oeil mit Porträt
by Martin Orthner

A final quote:
News is what someone wants suppressed. Everything else is advertising.
~Katharine Graham

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Use as needed

I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes.
~Sam Keen


Sometimes I don't know which way to go with Wellness Wednesday because I'm not sure what you need this week. My younger daughter came down with a stomach bug last night, so I mostly need electrolyte recipes and permission to nap. But what is on your plate? My Australian friend Kat just told me about the bushfires that recently blazed through her area and how stressful that experience was (thank goodness for rain!). I ended up going with a little bit of a bunch of things...use as needed:

Smoke pollution from fires:
* Fire Support: Herbs for Lungs and Trauma

DIY Electrolyte drinks:
* 4 Homemade Electrolyte Recipes

Gratitude:
* Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary

Relaxation:
* Study: Tetris is a Great Distraction for Easing an Anxious Mind
* Relaxation Apps

Grief:
* Nick Cave on death and grief

Truffles:
* Amaretto Cream Truffles (I made them Sunday and had planned on using amaretto extract, but at the last minute I decided on strawberry. TBH, I couldn't taste the strawberry, but the truffles were still a hit.)

Anything you want to add?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Anita Baker

I used to sing at funeral homes for families that didn't have a vocalist. I didn't get paid. I needed to sing.
~Anita Baker


Anita Baker's Rapture album (1986) was one that I listened to on a daily basis. For Music Monday, Anita Baker:





One more Anita quote:

I'm picking and choosing in terms of the stress factor. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it.
~Anita Baker