one day anyone died i guess

20 06 2017

e.e. cummings poem, anyone lived in a pretty how town, is glued onto the door that leads to our living room. i’ve kept it there since we built our house to serve as a reminder of aspects of world, of our humanness, that we are often up against.

i first read the poem at the age of 13 and it broke my heart to imagine all the people–the anonymous, nameless, “Anyones”–who make up our community but live their lives unnoticed. i was uncomfortable with the suggestion that seasons change but our consciousness stays much the same. the possibility that children (once wise) grow up none the wiser. and that the cycle repeats over and over. i didn’t want to live in a banal world filled with carless Someones and Everyones.

but there is more to this poem. while certainly a reflection of much our daily ongoings, it’s beauty lies in the stanzas that follow, in the individual love that No-one has for Any-one; when Anyone dies one day, it is Noone who stoops to kiss his face.

despite the disregard of the town (larger society, the state, the government) Anyone managed to thrive in life through the individual love and compassion shown by another nameless, anonymous member of society, her name: Noone.

days before the Glenfell Fire, Philomena came to me with her eyes filled with tears and said, “I don’t understand why everything is normal again, why life goes on as normal, how people die but after a short while, we aren’t meant to be sad about it anymore… the terrorist-thing that happened in Manchester well it’s as if it didn’t happen since we watched the Manchester LOVE concert. and then Borough Market happened and that now seems to be over too. but in reality it isn’t over, i’m not over it, any of it.”

in the days after the Glenfell Fire, however, Philomena said to me, “at least this isn’t like the terrorism thing or when someone gets cancer, when you can’t help death from happening. at least we can prevent a fire like this from ever happening again.”

let’s hope we can. and in the meantime, i send my blessings out to all the Noones who have opened their hearts and reached out their hands to comfort the Anyones–all those who are striving to make this place a pretty LOVED town.  

in memory of those who have lost their homes:





LUNA: the Economics of WANT

20 01 2016

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ― Rudyard Kipling

 





calling OLD souls

2 11 2015

Walter Fernandez3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atardecer en el Cementerio de La Balanza, foto por Walter Domínguez

 

Mujer de Mirada Triste

Mujer de mirada triste
¿Dime qué ves en las velas,
son espectros de la noche
o son flores de la tierra?
¿Qué guardas en tu regazo,
llena de luz, transparente,
si hasta el aire del espacio
tu piel morena parece?
Doble llama en el sentido,
doble dolor, doble ausencia,
las flores se han vuelto ríos
y los perfumes se quejan.
Contemplación de la noche,
velación de la quimera,
manojo de luces, ecos,
trasnochándome la espera…
Mujer de mirada dulce,
las llamas sacan sus lenguas
¿Se están burlando del tiempo
o están latiendo las treguas?
En tu rostro iluminado
la vida rejuvenece,
noche de oro en la mirada
para los que aman la muerte.
Para los que aman la vida
es noche de desconcierto,
la cera besa las flores
y la llama el sentimiento.

Julie Sopetrán 

 

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley 

 





Simplicity is the most complex form – C.T.

19 10 2015

Your mind is a powerful asset; use it for positive thoughts and you’ll learn what I’ve learned: I call it, ‘getting-on-the-plateau-of-positivity.’

(and) If at first you don’t succeed, keep on sucking till you suck-a-seed.

– Clark Terry





BIG CHANGE: What will you do to change the world?

7 06 2015

  

           





Striving for change, BIG CHANGE

7 05 2015

So there I lie on the plateau, under me the central core of fire from which was thrust this grumbling grinding mass of plutonic rock, over me blue air, and between me the fire of the rock and the fire of the sun, scree, soil and water, moss, grass, flower and tree, insect, bird and beast, wind, rain and snow – the total mountain.
– Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

——-

I like to walk.
And I like to talk.
But walking and talking at the same time?
When I talk,
I like to sit.
And I like to drink.
And I like to smoke.

If I do any exercise at all, it involves a short sprint from my car to the school gates. This has been the case for nearly a decade. I love dancing (and used to do lots of it back in the day) but one doesn’t really dance and talk. And the only walking and talking I do currently is at a snails pace with my children, articulating any combination of: hurry-up, we’re late! don’t pick that up, it’s dirty! you’ll be okay, let me kiss your knee and make it all better.

But recently, something shifted inside me. I think I’m under the spell of Big Change.

It’s called Strive! they explained excitedly during my first visit to their offices. We walk the equivalent of two marathons across the Scottish highlands over two days, and on the third day we climb Ben Nevis!

We will be a group of 60 to 100 change-makers. You know, those people who inspire, those who use their creativity to influence change across a variety of sectors for young people here in the UK. We will be a mix of educators, artists, policy-makers, entrepreneurs—and we will all be walking and talking; basically brainstorming new ideas for change as we climb, as we strive, up the highest mountain the British Isles have gifted us.

I listened attentively, trying to control my left eyebrow from twitching.

What an amazing challenge, I thought to myself and then my mind drifted as I began to picture this group of super-charged, super-fit, smiling young explorers, dressed in cool looking mountain gear, all standing proudly at the top of Ben Nevis. A flag waving wildly with bright beautiful words:

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Yes, I thought to myself, this is what we need; more people like this striving for change.

And then they smiled back at me and waited politely for me to speak.

Fabulous, what an extraordinary challenge, I said. Let me know what I can do to help—I do know some big changers who might just be physically strong enough, and ambitious enough, to take part.

Well actually, we’d like you to participate in the walk, twinkle-eyed-Essie explained, grinning from cheek to cheek.

Very funny, I responded. Believe me, walking and talking is not my thing.

And that was that. A conversation that was had toward the end of February, at a time when London was still holding tightly onto winter.

But then the cherry blossoms bloomed pink.

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And I attended my first Holi festival, in celebration of colour. I danced with my daughters and gave thanks for spring, for the changing of seasons and the reincarnations that are possible even among the living.

 

And then a little Easter bunny arrived and my daughters named her Ginger—I took that as a sign that my roots needed some stirring.

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And if that wasn’t enough, one of my brothers gave me this book. He gently told me that I—that all of us—were born to run…

unnamed

 

In 9 weeks time a group of Big Changers will take to the hills.
And the simple truth is, I want to be with them.

It’s all about developing a growth mind-set, they tell me.

A growth mind-set? Okay, well let’s see.

I wonder if they’ll let me bring a flask for my whiskey?

——————————-

Inspiring reads at the start of this journey:

Nan Shepherd’s manuscript of The Living Mountain was written during the Second World War and lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.
http://www.canongate.tv/the-living-mountain-paperback-29.html

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science and pure inspiration. An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? http://knopfdoubleday.com/2009/05/05/born-to-run-by-chris/





FREEDOM is: carving unknown own paths

20 01 2015

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