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Archive for July, 2010

no one is alone

Bernadette Peters has one of the finest human instruments ever crafted by God. When this selection finishes, click on “Children will listen.”

Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy. My mother-in-law was such a beautiful soul.

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poem

Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?

The men sprawl near the baler,
too tired to leave the field.
They talk and smoke,
and the tips of their cigarettes
blaze like small roses
in the night air. (It arrived
and settled among them
before they were aware.)

The moon comes
to count the bales,
and the dispossessed—
Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will
—sings from the dusty stubble.

These things happen … the soul’s bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses …

The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field

grows wet with dew.

– Jane Kenyon, Otherwise: New & Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 1997.

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grandma

Dorothy Elizabeth Thane
June 23, 1920 – July 31, 2010

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.”
– Joyce Brothers

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Today’s Fourth of July was marked by a beautiful event on East Main Street. The Buddhist group (World Peace & Health Organization) that has made St. Casmir’s their new home hosted a celebration of liberty, healing and peace in the parking lot across from the Church. Serendipitously, I had been made aware of the happenings a little over an hour before the affair began. My friend Karin called me when she noticed the stage being built this morning. I’m so happy she did. My daughter and I went to explore this new phenomenon.

We were greeted by radiantly, warm men and women that spoke beautiful english and made every effort to make us feel comfortable, offering water and familiar red cans of cold Coca Cola. I’m not sure if the sun shone so intensely today because of its normal interaction with the elements, or because it couldn’t resist such a welcome. We were seated before the stage by a constructed altar for peace placed under a flowing American flag. A woman named Jenny translated for my daughter and I throughout the presentation.

The ceremony began with spirited drumming as the followers of Holy Master Ziguany Shang Shi assembled along the stage. The Master gave a compelling speech about the meaning of freedom and our shared destiny as caretakers of our neighbors and our country. He noted that there are no real differentiations between countries, races, or religions in that we are one as human beings, responsible for promoting health and world peace. He offered that the City of Amsterdam, USA may serve as a mecca for healing – physically, spiritually, economically and communally – and that his group will actively work to forge a connection between eastern and western cultures. Interestingly, after the program I spoke with the owner of a Chinese solar power industrial plant that plans to start-up operations here (hopefully in Amsterdam) and another individual that has drafted a business plan to promote tourism and housing development in our community. Evidently, our Feng Shui is very good here. We should greet these opportunities with open arms. We need all of the healing we can get.

It was a lovely way to celebrate the very tenants on which our country was founded.

These are photos of the group, their leader, martial art demonstrations, Tai Chi, dancers and the sitting “flight meditation” which was quite amusing to watch and apparently very enjoyable to take part in!

The group will be offering free demonstrations of their yoga techniques in August.
I’ll post an alert before then.

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There is more work to do, but even so,
I am proud to post the “befores” and “afters”.

The muralists will be getting together in the next week or so
to start the other projects.

The photos are nice, however, I urge everyone to take a ride downtown
for the real deal.

I’m tired, very sunburned, and very, very grateful.


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By the end of the day, we all felt like superman.

Members of the buddhist group that will repurpose St. Casmir's Church. Here, the group was constructing a peace alter. They hope to bring peace and healing to our community. May it be so.

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Today was GREAT. About fifty volunteers showed up for duty (thank you to the groups from Centro Civico, Liberty and St. Marys, as well as all of the individual volunteers that worked their back sides off all day.)

We hit vegetation and garbage with a vengeance. We loaded out over a dozen dump truck loads of our gleanings. I’m glad we lined up a second day because we really need it to start to tame this beast. Tomorrow, we need weed whackers, hedge clippers and paint brushes. We’ll prep doorways and boarded up windows with base paint and hit a few more areas in need of vegetation elimination.
The muralists can then work
over the coming weeks.

We’ve got about six muralists so far that are excited to take this on.

I loved today, but have a heck of a sunburn! (All of you, wear sunscreen.) I can’t wait to post the before and after shots tomorrow night. Stay tuned.

Hope to see you on East Main Street in the morning. The pay off in endorphins alone is worth it, but the reward in helping take back the city is priceless.

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