The World I Want to Live In

A sunny morning reflecting, writing and creating. This poem and post catches my attention and leaves me with tears in my eyes. It's possible. Keep dreaming your dreams. Let's celebrate our connections and bring these visions to life... together.

This is the whole post from CharityFocus Blog
The wonderfully inspiring Arab-American poet, Naomi Shihab Nye wrapped a poem around an unexpected experience of kindness she encountered at an airport in Albuquerque and sent it off to exactly two friends ... who passed it on to friends, who passed it on to friends who ... and so the ripple of poetry and goodness went, and courtesy of Daily Good reader, Cynthia Loebig, here it is in front of all of you. At a recent reading of the poem, Nye ended the evening remarking, that this spontaneous series of people passing the poem on had probably resulted in more people reading it than would have had it appeared in a print magazine ...

Wandering 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 English.
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.

Not 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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posted by ashley


What We'd Like to Learn

Another inspiring list generated in a recent parenting group:

What we wish someone had taught us:
  • Listen from the perspective of who you are communicating with.
  • How to calm yourself when agitated or stressed.
  • How to spell!
  • How to be empathic and careful and conscious of the consequences of words.
  • Be present – in the moment you’re in.
  • Encourage first, teach second.
  • How to sort through thoughts and emotions.
  • How to figure out what I really want.
  • That emotional intelligence is just as important as cognitive intelligence
  • How to think ahead.
  • How to trust your instincts/intuition.

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posted by ashley


Growing Into My Wings

I love greeting cards.
I used to buy them constantly, finding unique and clever ones that would be just perfect for someone one day. My mom has a talent for finding cards that are, I swear, written just for me from her. There is something remarkable about finding the words, already out there, that say exactly what you'd like to express.

Sometimes finding words to express our internal terrain can be challenging.

Sometimes finding the courage to accept and surrender to the brilliance of our Being and the realness of our being can be daunting.

Recently I saw a greeting card that made me melt.
I fell in love with its sweet, simple, potent expression.
A glittering smile perked into my heart imagining giving it to someone.
A deep bow emerged through my soul imagining another giving it to me.

I'm in a period of transition right now... learning to see, feel, experience, be with and love myself in new ways.
I'm also learning how tough skinned I can be when it comes to really receiving, openly, when others share with me how they experience me. And I guess more to the point, I'm hard on myself and can easily look over my light, giving more attention to where I need to grow.

So right now I'm asking for some help. If your heart feels called to do so, would you please give me this virtual card and tell me a bit of how you see my wings. You can post a comment here, email me, send me a letter, whatever!

A promise I have to you and myself is that I will make every effort to receive your words fully, with an open and accepting heart.

Thank you and with so much love,
a vulnerable one

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posted by ashley


Piercing My Existence


It's been awhile since I've found a voice to offer here. I notice that when I'm experiencing deep and rapid change in my life, writing here can feel confusing. The sense is something like, I'm not who I was when I last wrote here... and how do I jump in with who I am now... especially when I don't know who I am now?

Passion beats wildly as my heart.
Flying light,
like sparks and trails of fireworks,

piercing my existence
tingling a fierce dance
between pain and wakefulness

Here is a song whose lyrics resonate deeply with me right now. I highly recommend The Weepies.

The Weepies Big Strong Girl

It's not now or never.
It's not black, and it's not white.
Anything worth anything takes more than a few days
and a long, long night.

Don't push so hard against the world, no, no.
You can't do it all alone, and if you could
would you really want to?
Even though you're a big strong girl
come on, come on, lay it down.
The best made plans are your open hands.

Rest your head.
You've got two pillows to choose from
in a queen-sized bed.
Hold out for the moon
but don't expect connection any time soon.

Feel the light caress your fingertips.
You have just begun, the word has only left your lips.
Maybe in time, you will find
your arms are wrapped around the sun
you're wrapped around the sun.

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posted by ashley


Some People Find Angry Expressions Rewarding

Interesting research:

"It's kind of striking that an angry facial expression is consciously valued as a very negative signal by almost everyone, yet at a non-conscious level can be like a tasty morsel that some people will vigorously work for," study co-author Oliver Schultheiss, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, said in a prepared statement.

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posted by ashley

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