Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 4

Unfulfilled dreams are tender things, like seedlings doing their best to sprout.  These dreams deserve to be undisturbed by anyone but the gardener, and uncriticized by anyone at all.  (34) 

The idea as Moran describes it is not about those dreams that we've left behind or which have been taken away from us but those fulfilled dreams waiting to see the light of day.  These unfulfilled dreams are delicate and deserve tender care if they are to ever become fulfilled, bearing bushels of satiating fruit.

Okay.  I beat that metaphor to death but you get the point.

The following is a recommendation from the book Good Girls Don’t Get Fat by Robyn Silverman:

Add “in my head” to her evaluation statements.  People used to think it was funny to add “in bed” to the end of every Chinese fortune cookie fortune.  This follows the same principle.  Whenever girls say something like, “I need to lose five pounds,” “My thighs are so big” or “She has better legs than me,” make a game by adding “in my head.”  It’s important for girls–and women–to know that they are contributing to their own body image problems by allowing their perceptions to become reality.  (169)

A relationship does take effort, and we need to be willing to do the required work. But we need to remember also that love is above all a pleasure, a treasure to delight in, a miracle, a gift to be enjoyed. (Jan 19)

The person you love won’t look at love or your relationship in exactly the same way you do. . . .Understanding that he or she doesn’t feel the same way, and in some sense may not even occupy the same relationship, that you do–and allowing your partner to live his or her truth–is one of the baseline practices of love.  (January 25)

We can stop waiting for life to become perfect and start working with what we’ve got to make it as satisfying as we can.  We can accept, bless, give thanks, and get going.  Today, we can begin to call forth the riches from our everyday life.  Today we can move from lack to abundance.  Procrastination has robbed us of too many precious opportunities.  (January 25)

"Twins are very interesting . . . at least one pair of them," said Anne.  "It's only when there are two or three pairs that it gets monotonous." (55)

This made me chuckle because, of course, I have one pair of twins (do they come in any form other than a "pair"?) and I can admit that having more than the one pair would have been monotonous, to say the least.  Redundant.  Excessive.

This world would be a much more interesting place . . . although it is very interesting anyhow . . . if people spoke out their real thoughts.  (105)

I have to agree but I think there's much to be said for people saying nothing if they have nothing nice to say.

Don't you know that it is only very foolish folk who talk sense all the time?  (151)

By the time I was ending the book, I have to admit,I was more moderate, conceding that I'd decided to write this story because 'sad as it is, there isn't and wans't and never was anything else to do.'  Nothing to do, I was conceding, but testify, bear witness, swear to the truth of this account I hereby proffer to you, the reader.  Nothing to do because once the calamity has happened, it is of course inexorable; it will always have happened.  (89)

This quote, is in some way, a response to the author's previous quote I shared in Weekly Quotes Part 3.

But if the hospital is a bureaucracy, or, for that mater, a sort of factory assembly line designed to process illnesses rather than people, fosters a steely clinical demeanor, it's important to remember that this demeanor is actually formed, and later encouraged, by the nature and structure of medical training. (191)

I wanted to share that last quote because there is a growing movement within the medical community to infuse more compassion and empathy into the medical practice.  Narrative Medicine, in particular, is being used in medical schools to help med students explore on the page and through reading material the experience of being a patient.  Of course, it is impossible to lie in a bed for a couple of days and truly appreciate what it feels like to know you will be in that bed for months.  Nevertheless, if imagination can be stirred to awaken awareness then it is a wonderful thing to behold.  It may be a while before it reaches full fruition in the examination room or hospital corridors but there is a movement in this new direction that is inspiring to see.

Friday Randomness--Legos

In honor of the anniversary of the Lego's design being patented, I thought why not celebrate by sharing various Lego things.

We begin with a few Harry Potter sets
Hogwart's Castle
Hogwart's Express
Diagon Alley
I used to buy Harry Potter Lego sets but then my son let his friends play with them and I lost pieces and . . . I was very unhappy.  Still am.  I haven't bought myself a Lego since.  I've been Lego traumatized!

Then they came out with Lego Architecture sets.  Ooooh . . .
The Empire State Building
The Guggenheim Museum
Falling Water

Rockefeller Center
I especially want the NYC buildings, of course, but they have a White House one as well and that would be pretty nifty to use educationally, perhaps when working through a unit on the history of the United States or during the next Presidential election.

And there is a wealth of fabulous Lego things out there on the internet.  If you find something you think I should have shared, feel free to leave a link in a comment.  And if you have any Lego's lying around you should go get some and have some fun.  Even better if you can share your Lego love with the younger generation.

Lego Sculpture

lego relativity


lego ironman Lego Iron man Is all The Craze Havent you Heard?

Lego Church 1


Thank you to the following sites:
Check out the entire artistic display.  Amazingly evocative.
Because why not make a super hero with a super toy?
There are a lot more great examples of cool Lego stuff on this site, obviously!
I was going to share them all but decided to let you see the rest of this amazing church for yourselves because it's worth clicking through.
There are LegoLands in other countries?  I didn't even know this!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Alex Monroe Prettiness

It all began with a peacock feather ring.
Peacock Feather Ring
Then I saw this which I thought is too bulky for my hand.  (Delicate rings look best on me.)
But this is not a single ring and you can create your own look by mixing and matching the delicate flowers with the tiny diamonds.

This is a locket, a ball made of gold vines . .  

. . . which opens to reveal a white gold rose.

There is also a flower covered ball which opens to reveal a bird (or a smaller version that reveals a butterfly) which would go beautifully with the stackable rings above.  (There is a peculiar apple shaped one that opens to reveal a worm.  Not sure if that would be one I'd want to receive or give but it is interesting.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Little Giggle

I am rereading Anne of Avonlea and this scene made me giggl.  Anne talking to a bachelor neighbor.  (24)

“Mrs. Milton White says she never met a perfect person, but she’s heard enough about one . . .her husband’s first wife.  Don’t you think it must be very uncomfortable to be married to a man whose first wife was perfect?”

“It would be more uncomfortable to be married to the perfect wife.”

The Blog Post That Almost Wasn't

On the 14th, Rob's family came for a visit.  Rob had hoped to go up to Kentucky for a visit for Thanksgiving but that didn't happen and then his family was supposed to come down in December but they postponed it and then finally they were here!  His brother, Shawn, Shawn's wife, Veronica, and their daughter, Isabelle along with Rob's mother.

My in-laws.  Eep!  I never had to deal with in-laws before.  No really.  And now I have in-laws and I am an in-law and I'm in it all around.

Rei and Marc were here for the arrival and we ordered pizza for dinner.  Quite yummy.  Isabelle had never met me so she and I were bonding.  It was pretty easy since she likes stuffed animals and books.  I mean, really . . . how could I not like her?

We exchanged some holiday gifts, nothing major, and then Shawn and his troop went to stay at a friend's place while my mother-in-law stayed here.  We watched a dvd (you can read the review for it at the end of the month on my other blog) and then went to bed, very very late for me.

Saturday Rob made his mother and me some omelets and then we headed to a used bookstore.  In the meantime, Veronica took Isabelle to the American Girls store while Shawn tagged along.  We hoped that they would join us later for dinner and were not making any plans past our store hopping.  We also took his mother to World Market where I bought some bangles for the girls and some spice jars for myself.  Oh and of course, I bought books at the used bookstore--one by Jeanette Winterson and another by Pema Chodron.

Veronica wanted to spend time with her friends, understandably, and so they didn't come by the house at all.  This was a disappointment to Rob but would prove to be the lesser of the disappointments by the weekend's end.  We had swordfish for dinner and watched another movie before heading off to bed very late yet again.

Sunday morning we had blueberry scones for breakfast and Rob announced he was sick.  He hoped to feel better by the time the rest of the family arrived--Shawn, Veronica, Isabelle, Joe, Erin, and Bibi.  The plan for Sunday was for everyone to go to the aquarium; everyone, that is, except me.  So the hope was Rob would feel better because he really hadn't had much time with his family at all, at this point, except for his mother.

That didn't happen.  He was still quite sick and I debated going to the aquarium but the truth is I knew I wouldn't have a good time worrying about him here, sick in bed.  I wish I could have over-ridden my personal anxiety for him but I sent them on their way without me and without Rob.

It looks like Is and Bibi got along well, don't you think?  And apparently they had fun seeing the penguins and a highly amorous beluga whale.  Joe and Erin brought me home a gift--a beluga whale ornament.  You can't tell from the picture but it's sparkly and has Swarovski crystals on its flippers.  You can clearly tell that it is not, however, amorous.  Thankfully!

When they all came back to the house, Joe and Erin didn't stick around. Bibi was asleep in the car so they gave me my gift and left (forgetting Bibi's purple metallic piggy bank!) and it was decided that Rob's mother would not stay another night here.  Assuming Rob would feel better by the morning, we figured we would all get together for breakfast close to where they were staying and then send them on their way.

Rob was still too sick the next morning but what he didn't know is that late Sunday night I'd received a call from his mother checking up on him and explaining that they'd decided to drive home that night because of some weather complications up north, etc.  I told Rob later on Monday, most of which was spent with his throwing up and my saying he needed to go to the hospital.

Of course, by now you know all about Rob's having an appendectomy and how the rest of last week went.  But that was a week ago today when Rob finally went to the hospital and the whole time, when he was strong enough to feel anything and not so doped up he couldn't feel anything, he shared his disappointment in how things turned out.  He had been looking forward to seeing his family for months and to have it cut short like that, to see his brother only for a few hours on Friday and then only a few more moments on Sunday . . . well, that isn't what Rob had in mind at all for the weekend.

And this post almost wasn't because I had planned on writing all about the visit very shortly after the visit which means this should have been blogged early last week.  Oops.  Oh well.  Life goes on and I finally got around to writing this blog post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Going to the Chapel

I mentioned in a previous post my wandering to the chapel at the hospital.  What I didn’t share, and what I would like to explore now, is what I discovered while I was there.

The door has a small stained glass inset of something that looks like green fire or a bush.  Or maybe it is some other color.  I honestly can’t say.  It was terribly late; I was terribly tired; my mind was terribly distracted.

I opened the door and there, before me, was a backlit stained glass image of white and branches and green leaves with a couple of red cardinals.  (Hmmm . . . the cardinal is typically associated with the blood of Christ but is also associated with personal power in less Christian terms.  I guess only men have personal power because the association is clearly linked with the red coloring and female cardinals are not the same vivid red.  Carry that a step further and I guess that means that the blood of Christ has nothing to do with female cardinals?  Gah!  I’m over-thinking.)

So I look away from this and to the wall where I see a generic image of Jesus Christ as Shepherd, complete with lambs and such.  The sort of boring picture one would expect to find in an illustrated Bible or family Bible and a far cry from what I would consider artistic.  (Oh well.  Did I really expect no Christian imagery?  Or great art?)  I keep looking.  Beside the "painting" we have a relief Christ’s healing hands and then on the rear wall another stained glass window, backlit, that has nothing.  Just a design.

A kneeling bench in front of the main stained glass window . . . so people can pray to the cardinals?  Now I’m confused.  And probably sleep deprived.  The bench is practically smacked up against the window so to kneel there you have to remain fairly upright and not really lean into the armrest.  Beside this is a large Bible, open to some passage.  I started flipping through it, amused by people scrawling across the page “I Love God” and “Me TOO!”

Seriously?  Graffiti in a Bible?  I shook my head and continued to flip through, reading some of the marginal notes people added.  Not all the added content was so irrelevant and/or irreverent.  This particular Bible was a Catholic one so I turned it to Sirach 38.  Why?  Because I could.

I then moved to a table where there were some more Bibles and a small New Testament with Psalms, the kind typically given to military men and high school students.  And one Bible Story book.  No Hebrew Bible with only the Old Testament.  And no Qur’an.  I even opened the drawer to see if there was anything in there, hidden, like the Dao De Jing or maybe some sutras.  Nope.  No Book of Mormon or Science and Health with Key to Scriptures (albeit I suppose one would hardly find a Christian Scientist in a hospital, let alone in the hospital chapel but I digress yet again).

My attention then turned to the display where I found two prayer cards and a small booklet entitled “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” except they couldn’t be troubled to write the word “Heart” and just have a red one there front and center.  Needless to say, this booklet is a collection of quotes from the Bible, Old and New Testament.   There’s even a bit inside where you can confess your sins, sign your name, and be saved.  (Is this to suggest that your sin is why you are in the chapel in distress?  I know, it’s meant to be there for comfort in an hour of need but from a less sympathetic perspective, I really can understand how hostile the new atheists are towards religion when I see things like this.)  The two prayer cards refer to “God” and “Lord” with no specific call on Christ. God is referred to as “Father” on one and the “Holy Spirit” is mentioned on the other.  I think it’s safe to say that the slant here is still clearly Christian but perhaps not.

A sat in a pew and thought to myself how disappointing it all was.  A pretty little room meant to only meet the spiritual needs of a single demographic.  I then stood up and took the brochure “Pastoral Care” and took that with me to the cafeteria where I got myself some hot decaf coffee and proceeded to read.  Here are some direct quotes:
  • Enhancing healing and wholeness by attending to people’s spiritual needs
  • Because spirit is an important dimension of human wholeness . . .
  • We seek to embody compassion, confidential support for people of all faiths and backgrounds . . .
  • An interfaith chapel . . .
  • Copies of scriptures and holy writings are available from various traditions
And here is their mission statement with emphasis added:
To provide quality spiritual, emotional and religious support to patients, families, staff and community of (hospital name) in an inclusive, respectful, and timely manner.  This is accomplished by the collaboration of staff chaplains, community clergy, and trained Pastoral Care Volunteers.
I did a little research and all of the “community clergy” come from the Christian community.  Now if the literature didn’t clearly state “inclusive” and “all faiths” and such, I would just assume the chapel is meant to be Christian and only for Christian patients, families, etc.  But they clearly state that this is not true.

So upon returning home, what did I do?  

I searched my bookcases for sacred writings from other spiritual paths and asked Rob to please put out a request on his facebook page.  If you are reading this blog post and wish to donate a sacred text or sacred writing, please do.  I shall gather as much as I can to deliver to the hospital in a few weeks.

I will add to the bottom of this post any texts that I have or am being given by you.  Look for this post to be updated.


(Please note, I tried to write the above so you would experience my thoughts much as they flitted about in my own head.  The parenthetical asides offer a peek into how my sleep deprived and highly stressed mind was working at the time.)