Friday, August 17, 2012
Every year, during the first weekend in August, tens of thousands of Vietnamese-Americans descend on the small town of Carthage, Missouri to honor the Virgin Mary for helping Vietnamese boat refugees safely reach the United States more than thirty-five years earlier.. But many of the social tensions have been resolved and the facilities expanded and upgraded, including the addition of showers, restrooms, a Prayer Garden, Stations of the Cross, and the Vietnamese Martyrs Auditorium. In addition to camping out in tents on the seminary grounds or filling nearby motels, attendees also set up tents on the lawns of welcoming locals, some of whom invite the same families into their backyards year after year. Jim Kerr is one of the locals who likes to attend every year “so we can eat something exceptional. I just ate pork intestines and it was very good. We love the Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.”Strange Islands
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
That moment, when the air is taken from us seems to last an endless forever. Our minds and emotions seize up in a sort of shock as we grapple to understand the enormity of the moment. A whole slew of physiological effects set in...pupils dilating, heart rate increasing, fingertips and lips going slightly numb, slightly tingling, goosebumps hitting at times, sweating occurring at others, stomach twisting and pitching, laughter bursting from us in a glorious ripple of smiling notes, or gut wrenching sobs the next sound we're capable of making.
Most of the time when this happens, we are forever changed. Uplifted at times, devastated at others. It's one of those very pure moments when everything narrows down to a literal pinpoint of focus. From that one breath suspended, to that next moment when we finally inhale again, the world changes. We change. A remarkable shift occurs.
It's a curious thing, how everything can change in such a blinding, rapid manner. It can happen in a fleeting rush, barreling upon us in a wild, dramatic swirl. Or it can slip through and brush softly as a whisper. Regardless of the delivery, it is profound and dramatic.
We experience it from the hands of another....from the words of another. Or from our own initiative. Sometimes it is a moment in Nature. Or a song lyric. A fragrance that teases the heart and the memory. A touch so sincere that we cannot resist it. And we are undone. Unraveled, or conversely, wound so tightly, so quickly, that we must shatter into a million pieces of delight or maddened grief.
Peace walks these same halls. As does love. They both grab the breath from us, lifting up and embracing us in an inestimable manner.
What do you do when you can't breathe? You endure it. Or you celebrate it. You continue to live, accepting that infinitesimal moment that has shifted everything that you are into a new person. And you are born anew, taking fumbling steps, uncertain on wobbly knees and feet. Pared down to your elemental self, vulnerable, naked and alone, and seeing the world through brand new eyes.
What do you do when you can't breathe and the cold vapor of that crashing moment stuns you? You momentarily become a creature of ice, shards of silvered frost entwining throughout your very cells, turning you crystalline. Waiting for a touch to warm and melt you back to humanity.
Waiting for a touch to enfold. To stutter-start your breath again.
There in an indefinable space that simultaneously lasts both a nanosecond and a limitless, echoing eternity...what do you do? You feel. Simply that.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
My purpose is _____________.She shared her own impression of her raison d'etre in a beautiful manner and I loved the concept. I dashed off my own reply:
Good question! To write. To love. To recognize the beauty in those around me and give them a shining mirror to see their own beauty. To remember that my words have power and as such, to use them mindfully. To share my heart in an authentic manner. To see those obscure yet breathtaking moments around me and scribe them, painting them onto paper. I do much of this via the medium of writing, but I also do it by simply being Me. - SDS 1/29/2012I was immediately struck by the thought that this would make a fun blog post, so I zipped off an inquiry and request to Tameka to use her idea here. She like the idea and here I am, tapping away at my keyboard.
It's an interesting, thought provoking question, yes? My purpose is ______________. The fascinating thing is that at any given moment, our answer can and probably does change. We change from moment to moment, after all. With each breath, there is potential for a new experience that will shape and change us.
If I had to boil it all down to an inclusive, all encompassing thought, I would automatically say that my purpose is to write. That's why it was my first response above. Writing is such an intrinsic part of my nature that it touches literally every part of my life. I write as a vocation, to make a regular living, and I write as an avocation, to please myself and satisfy my need to create.
Probably the other purpose that didn't occur to me when I dashed off my response above is another simple one: To grow.
That's why we're here on this Earth School, after all. To grow. To learn. To mature. To become that better version of ourselves on a daily basis. We do this by trying, failing, succeeding. We try on different hats to see how they suit us in myriad applications - relationships, careers, creative pursuits, healthy ambitions, places to live and travel. The list is endless.
Tameka's Facebook post gave me an immediate and entertaining challenge and I responded with a stream of consciousness flow of words. Usually when we do that type of writing, it is as visceral and truthful a response as you can achieve. So, in an interesting manner, I gave myself that same mirror that I mentioned in my own comment. I learned some things about myself of which I am already cognizant and comfortable. When I read my words back, I smiled, because the picture painted was that perfect fit.
There have been times when I have engaged in similar writing exercises when the resulting picture wasn't as perfect a fit. There is value in that very thing, being confronted with thoughts that we didn't realize we espoused until challenged to give them voice. I've grown dramatically from such experiences.
Today's exercise was lighthearted, effortless and fun. Tameka's delightful response further in her thread was:
Isn't that the BEST comment that she made? "You give good purpose." I think this belongs on a t-shirt, similar to the one posted above. I know I'd certainly buy it and wear it!
Wow, Dawn! What a beautiful purpose you have! You give good purpose! LOL!
Why not take a few minutes and play this game with Tameka and I? Empty your mind, take a deep breath and just write. Don't over think it. Just let the words flow until you feel it is finished. Then read your words back and see what you learn about yourself. If you're so inclined, share here with us - I think it will be a fun experience for all of us.
I also encourage you to click the link for Tameka's wonderful blog, Lyric Fire and experience her writing. She is wonderfully talented and I enjoy myself every time I pay her a visit. Tameka, thank you for the inspiration for this post!
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.
Friday, January 6, 2012
HELLO OLD FRIENDS!!
Well, after a year (actually - it's been OVER a year!) I'm back.... at least, I think I'm back! (insert smiley face here!)
Alas, what BETTER time of year - when making New Year's resolutions - to re-start, jump-start, RENEW my outlet for self-expression and optimism? Due partly to just letting LIFE "get in the way," I've also experienced some major set-backs within my life - I think I've spent the last few months of this year just reflecting on all that has happened in that time-frame. Both good and bad, it's definitely been a roller-coaster of a ride!
One thing I've discovered in my absence from this page, is that I was experiencing a tremendous amount of guilt during those less-than-stellar moments in my life when I attempted to sit down to spread a positive thought out into the world... I mistakenly felt that I just couldn't do it. I've always known deep within me what I wanted this blog to represent. During all these lower points, I took a (probably) too-deep look at my current situation and ended up developing a major pity-party for myself in the process!
Besides a major health scare and another open-heart surgery for my husband, ailing parents, financial issues, job searching... I previously thought the year was just going down hill all the way. But believe me, I've also had PLENTY to be happy and thankful for as well this past year... So then, what about those moments that weren't so bad, or so ugly, or so horrible? Simple. Laziness.
I let myself slip out of the habit of writing - and sharing. The next thing I knew - three months had gone by - then six, then twelve. Isn't that how we let most bad habits take over? Without thinking - without focus it . just . happens .
And so - my "theme" this evening, if you will - in keep with our traditions of renewal during the month of January - is that it's o.k. .....
TO GET BACK UP
TO TRY AGAIN
TO START OVER
TO SET A NEW GOAL
TO DREAM A NEW DREAM
My mission statement within this blog has always been - and will continue to be - to spread a positive word - or smile, if you will. I hope you will continue to walk with me in that endeavor, while I learn to cut myself some slack in my self-expectations!
I might not be able to write each and every single day, but I'm going to set a NEW goal that I start by trying to post at least once a week - and hopefully, the good habits return, and I post more than that! And if I don't - I don't. But I won't get all "hung up" about it!
I sincerely pray that all of you are looking UP at this time - looking ahead to the possibilities, and taking the time to re-charge and re-kindle your batteries. Happy New Year to all of you - I look forward to renewing some blogger friendships, and making new ones!!!
Pay it forward - spread a smile!!!