April 20th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

Rain in the night and now clearing - once again it seems like Camelot.

I read of young Mitchell who since his surgery for removal of a tumor from his spinal cord and chemo and radiation is now at a facility for those with spinal cord injuries.  As I read of his re-learning basic tasks and how long it takes him to do them, I know that I will better appreciate combing my hair, going to the bathroom, getting something to eat.  I also learn that most spinal cord injuries are a result of accidents, motorcycle, skiing, etc.   It is hard not to feel our fragility.  Recently I read of finding the spinal cord of each poem, of creating a spinal cord for a poem.  I love the image and see the curve, delicacy and absolute need.

I absorb these words of Michelangelo and feel more motivation on my own day.  I worked all day on the book yesterday.  We had the parts and now we continue to try and seam them and that is quite the task and probably where we usually lay the project down and say enough.  I am hoping to use these words to keep me in my chair and focused on what I want and hope to say.

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all."

- Michelangelo

It is Friday and my book group meets tonight in the East Bay.  This is a weekend created to honor the heart of the Earth.   May we all enjoy, honor, and play.   I realize now it is probably odd to be driving on such a day, but we do carpool, three to a car, so perhaps just once a month it is okay.

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Again -

Who could not love these words of Voltaire?

                Paradise is where I am.


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Tears and Hope -

My friend Nancy sent this poem to me with the following explanation.  Can you believe it?   Wow!!  

Nancy says Poetry saves.  Yes, it does!

Nancy Siller Wilson introduces the poem this way.  

    The poem is by Naomi Shihab Nye, a respected poet of Arab heritage who lives in the US.
    Her poem is a salve for the horrors of the shootings this week in Virginia. And every week in Iraq.

I want to post this poem every day.   At least read it for sure.  Hope!  Love!   Share!

Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
by Naomi Shihab Nye

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used -
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we're fine, you'll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let's call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her -- southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies -- little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts -- out of her bag --
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo -- we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers --
Non-alcoholic -- and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American -- ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend -- by now we were holding hands --
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

a single person in this gate -- once the crying of confusion stopped
-- has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

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Earth Day!

I just got a notice from Amazon asking me to celebrate Earth Day with them by buying more products.  Now, I am aware we all need toilet paper, laundry soap and lightbulbs, and it is best to buy "green," but it feels odd to celebrate the day by purchasing more stuff.  Earth Day is turning into a Hallmark moment.  Soon, we will have Happy Earth Day cards on recycled paper,  and Earth Day parties, therefore napkins and plates, and ....

Anyway, I find it funny that marketers are working hard to keep the economy intact and flowing no matter what the day or way.