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This is why I won't get lost....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

~ Rumi ~
(Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORLANA 5/24/2010 7:05AM

    Love it!

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MEDDYPEDDY 5/17/2010 11:14PM

    Wow, and what a connection!

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DARKTHOR 5/14/2010 9:40PM

    Holy cow, that is amazing.

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KALIGIRL 5/14/2010 8:47AM

    Wonderful emoticon
I must admit, I can't imagine you getting lost... perhaps discovering new things, places and people, but not getting lost.

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GOANNA2 5/14/2010 2:55AM

    oH MY!


emoticon emoticon

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 5/14/2010 12:59AM

    When I listen to the quiet nudge that guides me, I know that I can not be far off my it is that I am drawn to the streams in the wilderness or the wide open skies...I know that voice within carries me to better places where I will find myself and find the courage to meet obstacles and love those who journey with me. I love your pic and your link...Rumi is a fav for me, too. Peace to you!!!

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CASSIOEPIA 5/13/2010 11:28PM

    That pic is GORGEOUS. The background pic on my page is from the same park - beautiful area of Canada. Thank you for sharing.

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LYNNANN43 5/13/2010 11:20PM

    Gorgeous pic & quote!


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DDOORN 5/13/2010 10:22PM

    Give me the great wide open spaces anyday...yes!


..hoping to hit the bike soon...*maybe* tomorrow if the talk of rain goes!

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SUCHAHOOT 5/13/2010 10:00PM

    Absolutely beautiful!! You will have such a joyous time!

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    Lovely....and is this where you are being summoned?

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CARRAND 5/13/2010 8:20PM

    Beautiful photo, and I love the quote, too. I always told my kids find what you love to do, then find a way to support yourself doing it.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/13/2010 8:04PM

    Ahhhhh....loving it!

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HINOTO 5/13/2010 7:57PM

    What a gorgeous photo!

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1/Summer10: Maha's Magical Mystery Tour

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sue (PENNYAN45), wintering in Arizona, but knowing my love of all things Mary Oliver, came upon and sent me the following amazing information just in time to fit it into my plans:
"On May 18, 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver brings her poetry, essays and chronicles of the natural world to The Walton Center of Fayetteville, AR. With her lyrical connection to nature, Oliver has firmly established herself in the highest realm of American poets. She is renowned for her evocative and precise imagery, which brings nature into clear focus, transforming the everyday world into a place of magic and discovery. This one-hour poetry reading will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience and a book signing after the show."

Mary Oliver
I will be traveling in the Magical Mystery Mobile up to NW Arkansas to hear Oliver, one of the most celebrated and widely honored poets in the U.S, a most auspicious beginning for the Magical Mystery Tour on May 18, which will continue through mid-August, as the Mystery unfolds!

The Magical Mystery Mobile, my 1984 Toyota Dolphin; many RVs have a car in-tow. As you can see, I have my trusty Trek Navigator in-tow!

Meandering over the *blue highways* -- the back-roads, colored blue on road maps -- I will next make my way to central Virginia to the Satchidananda Ashram, popularly known as Yogaville.

Sri Swami Satchidananda has been my teacher since 1982. While living on Kauai, I hosted him in 1987 -- hundreds came to hear him speak on the island. We're standing on the North Shore, at Secret Beach.

While at the ashram, I plan to attend Heart as Wide as the World Kirtan Retreat with Krishna Das, May 28-31.

Krishna Das, singing and playing the harmonium
After a foray over to Virginia Beach on Chesapeake Bay for a few days, I will get back on the *blue highways* -- next stop "Unknown" (and that's NOT the name of a back roads hamlet!).

Where will the journey lead me? I plan to go up the Atlantic Seaboard. Into Canada? I plan to visit Niagara Falls. West? South? To more solitude? New friends? Old friends? Surprises I would never have imagined?

Maybe it (I) will save my life:


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Dream Work)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XINIXINIX 5/12/2010 5:46PM

    Cool Beans!

A fabulous salad bar awaits - here in Colorado!


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WALKINGANNIE 5/12/2010 4:48PM

    You are a citizen of the world Maha and home is wherever you are.

What adventures you will have and discoveries you will make. Magical and mysterious indeed.


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FRAN-SOLEIL 5/12/2010 11:37AM

    Sounds amazing! What a great start to this leg of your life's journey. I'm excited to see how the mystery unfolds.

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PENNYAN45 5/12/2010 9:34AM

    I am very happy you will see Mary Oliver! It's a great beginning for your journey.

I wish you merry meandering in your Magical Mystery Mobile! I hope to be one of your stops along the way.

emoticon emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/11/2010 8:43PM

    Well now...VA Beach--I may get to return you CDs in person! You'll be 1 hour away child! Stay in touch! I'll send ya my cell!

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JERSEYGIRL1950 5/11/2010 6:50PM

    This was outstanding...I would say I'm so jealous of your life but not the make me feel there will be a whole other life I will lead someday..the dreams and visions that I have had are coming into the process of being born and out of the ashes I will are so awesome and what a blessing you have made in my life...a teacher has appeared at a major crossroad in my life and you have made quite an impact..hugs

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/11/2010 4:05PM

    Jai Sita Ram!

Mary Oliver AND Krishna Das! A magical mystery tour indeed. You are much blessed, my friend. I love the new (to me) photos of you with Shri Swami-ji. What an inspirational teacher! So much radiance and glowing with love.

I hope the end of your semester is going well. I've just returned from vacation in the UK and Italy. Lovely to come back and find your page sparkling with happiness.


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KALIGIRL 5/11/2010 3:52PM

    Have a safe and memorable journey and if you get to the middle of the country let me know...

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LADYIRIS313 5/11/2010 3:20PM

    Thank YOU for turning me (and my friends) onto Mary Oliver. You are doing just the sort of trip that my best friend and I were talking about on the phone last night. What a renewal. I'm SO thrilled for you and cannot wait to hear all about it.

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SUCHAHOOT 5/11/2010 2:22PM

    Hey Maha!

Have a wonderful trip/ journey/ adventure! I hope you can stay in touch & keep us posted as to where you are. I can't believe we are this close to May 18th already!!

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STLRZGRRL 5/11/2010 12:33PM



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SLASALLE 5/11/2010 12:13PM

    Unfortunately, the resheduled FREE Mary Oliver lecture at KU did not work with my schedule!!! I was so disappointed when the first one got canceled. Enjoy, my friend!!!

Now I see a bit more of your plans (see my e-mail sent RIGHT BEFORE reading this). PLEASE KNOW that should you decide to head "west" after your plans, we would ADORE another visit. Wonder if we could get that to coincide with Gina & Randy coming our way???? No way to tell right now with Gina on vacation!! Let's both consider it ... certainly keep it as an otpion!!!

with love, Stephanie

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DARKTHOR 5/11/2010 11:54AM

    I love the back roads so much. Have a wonderful time! Let your self expand into the open spaces.

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MISS_VIV 5/11/2010 11:37AM

    I love the no boundries lady. . . . .Knowing you will have an awesome trip makes it a little more bearable that I am not able to share the campfires with you.

Have fun and stay in touch. We need pictures too.....

BIG HUGS emoticon

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REBCCA 5/11/2010 11:01AM

    What a wonderful adventure. I wish you joy and fair winds!
Love and blessings too.

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SHANTISHANTI 5/11/2010 10:54AM

    So beautiful, I just love Mary Oliver. I was first introduced to her when I did my yoga teacher training at Kripalu in Lenox, MA. My dream is to do what you're doing, just being able to follow my heart to wherever it might take me. You are truly an inspiration to me. I will follow you here, as you continue on your amazing journey. Enjoy every minute!

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GOANNA2 5/11/2010 10:41AM

    I wish you a wonderful journey and I wish I could come along.

I love your pictures too.

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Just BEGIN...

Monday, May 10, 2010

...that's all (it was important for me to read this...and share it).

E.g., thoughts like...NO! I'm removing segments from it that I had quoted here, because each time I read it something else jumps out at me, grabs me, and speaks deeply to me. How can I say what another needs to hear...REALLY, deeply hear?


Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.

Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing though with us still.

Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

~ Brendan Kennelly ~
(Do Not Go Gentle)
Brendan Kennelly, born in 1936, is a popular Irish poet and novelist. He was Professor of Modern Literature at Trinity College Dublin until 2005. He is now retired and occasionally tours the USA as university lecturer.

Kennelly’s poetry can be scabrous, down-to-earth and colloquial. He avoids intellectual pretension and literary posturing, and his attitude to poetic language could be summed up in the title of one of his epic poems, “Poetry my Arse”. Another long (400 page) epic poem, “The Book of Judas”, published in 1991, topped the Irish bestseller list.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 5/17/2010 11:19PM

    You find the oddest and most useful things! Thanks!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/10/2010 9:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 5/10/2010 8:59PM

    I am beginning a journey to a healthier me.
Wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/10/2010 6:54PM


I treasure the new beginning that I have been given. It's never too late to make a fresh start.


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KALIGIRL 5/10/2010 1:28PM

    Wonderful - emoticon -
I love the idea of 'forever beginning'

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FRACTALMYTH 5/10/2010 12:39PM

    Lovely :D

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FRANCESCANAZ 5/10/2010 12:03PM

    Oh how a love good poetry! Gracias, gracias, gracias otra vez mi amiga!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/10/2010 10:36AM

    It's amazing...and says something of kindred spirits...that the VERY portions that I was going to share at the top are the ones you two, Sandra and PennyAn, have included. Just...WOW!

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PENNYAN45 5/10/2010 10:29AM

    "Begin to the loneliness that cannot end, since it perhaps is what makes us begin"

Thanks for sharing more meaningful poetry.

Thanks also for your encouragement on my blog! It really meant a lot to me.

All of SP is a beginning. You and I are a beginning too! I wouldn't want to live life without beginnings.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BECOMINGONE 5/10/2010 10:08AM

    Though we live in a world that dreams of ending that always seems about to give in something that will not acknowledge conclusion insists that we forever begin.

Love it! May we forever begin ...


Comment edited on: 5/10/2010 10:09:24 AM

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Mothers As Peacemakers

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The first person to fight for an official Mother's Day celebration in the United States was Julia Ward Howe. Howe was born in New York City on May 27, 1819. Her family was well respected and wealthy. She was a published poet and abolitionist. She and her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, co-published the anti-slavery newspaper The Commonwealth. She was active in the peace movement and the women's suffrage movement. In 1870 she penned the Mother's Day Proclamation. In 1872 the Mothers' Peace Day Observance on the second Sunday in June was held and the meetings continued for several years. Her idea was widely accepted, but she was never able to get the day recognized as an official holiday. The Mothers' Peace Day was the beginning of the Mothers' Day holiday in the United States now celebrated in May.

The modern commercialized celebration of gifts, flowers and candy bears little resemblance to Howe's original idea. Here is the Proclamation that explains, in her own powerful words, the goals of the original Mother's Day in the United States...

Mother's Peace Day

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Blessed be all mothers and all whose nurturing presence has touched our lives. May peace prevail and may it begin with me,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 5/11/2010 11:05AM

    Amen and thank you for sharing this. I will come back to this blog many times, I'm sure.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world..." Ghandi

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CARRAND 5/9/2010 10:00PM

    Thank you for sharing.

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FRANCESCANAZ 5/9/2010 2:06PM

    Paz . Para todos...paz. emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 5/9/2010 12:07PM


Imma make Julia the Queen of the Subversives!!!!

And Maha... her handmaiden of Peace...

I'm also making Maha my Mother since I lack one on this planet currently and could obviously use one.



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A-STRONGER-ME 5/9/2010 8:35AM

    very powerful

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BECOMINGONE 5/9/2010 8:24AM

    Thank you for sharing with all. I enjoyed reading it so much yesterday. May peace which surpasses all understanding fill your heart and mind this day and always.


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KAT573 5/9/2010 7:21AM

    THANK you Maha! for showing that mothers are never simply mothers, but the other half of humanity that is needed to balance the other.
Kat emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 5/9/2010 5:36AM

    I read this blog a little earlier Maha and have returned to do it justice in my reading of it.

It's a great reminder of how much our generation owes to the wisdom of some of our foremothers - and the definition of peace is wonderful.

You are a mother of ideas and insights and you nourish our minds and spirits.


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PUDLECRAZY 5/9/2010 3:02AM

    Perfect! I love the pictures, too. Thank you for this post.

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DDOORN 5/9/2010 12:49AM

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the origins and inspirations for this holiday which can honor mothers in far more heartfelt and meaningful ways!


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FRACTALMYTH 5/9/2010 12:41AM

    That was amazing. I am going to save it to read again. Thank you so much for sharing!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/8/2010 10:38PM

    Perfect, I was just reading some material on nonviolent communication tonight on this site: emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 5/8/2010 10:29PM

    Thank you and may you have a lovely Mother's Day
Anna emoticon

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LYNNANN43 5/8/2010 10:20PM

    I never learned this. emoticon

WOW, has Hallmark & the American public got it wrong!


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How Do I (You) Want to Be Remembered?

Friday, May 07, 2010

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Finals are over and because I would have had six contiguous hours of exams for the three classes yesterday, I was able to move one exam over to today. I took it alone and when I returned to his office at the end of the two hours with the exam, the professor (of my linguistics class) asked if I'd like to end the agony right away and know what my grade is. Of course I vigorously shook my head YES and left while he graded it and determined my overall course grade. Check it out...I managed to barely slide into an A (91.5%)

Ok, is THIS how I want to be "a good student"...or as "someone obsessed with 'the grade'"...or....It's clear that I'm definitely in the "unwinding" phase now that spring semester has ended, like Sandra said about herself yesterday. The 15 units I have completed are large on my mind. But it's also definitely not WHO I am...or HOW I want to be remembered.

Let me share a few miscellaneous photos that will help to paint a more accurate picture for you of what IS important to me....

Sharon is the director of the university's language lab. She is also a yoga practitioner and we met many years ago at the Iyengar yoga studio (where she now teaches!). Over the years of attending yoga together we talked about my Ecuador project and my Spanish proficiency in a variety of contexts and I asked her lots questions about the Spanish program. She also invited me to use a software program at the lab to further hone my Spanish facility while I was still directing the Ecuador project. Her KINDNESS to me found me on-campus using the software, then taking the school's Spanish proficiency test...then deciding to actually jump into the program. Since beginning last fall, Sharon's assistance and counsel have been generous and extremely helpful.

Daryl is a graduate student and took the linguistics class with me. He willingly spent time with me going over concepts and information and sharing materials, and his KINDNESS was a big help to this rookie non-traditional student. He will be continuing his Latin American History studies at the University of New Mexico this fall and I will miss him. I love how many of the students seem to take me at face value now that I'm feeling more comfortable this second semester and how, in many ways, they are beginning to treat me as a peer.

These are my friends Fritzie and Janice. Fritzie graciously AND lovingly opened her beautiful home for a gathering of friends for my birthday celebration...her KINDNESS touches my heart. And that's really just the tip of the iceberg of her compassion toward me and others, e.g., her assistance to a mutual friend from Guatemala in his time of need has truly been "over the top".

Here's another photo of my dear friend Janice. We were housemates for over two years...and we're very close. Janice went with me to visit my friend John who had emergency abdominal surgery. She immediately sprang into action and brushed all the tangles out of his hair and shaved him (neither had been done for days). That unique genre of KINDNESS is "typical Janice."

You all know Sandra, my wonderful friend and bike-riding pal (and Sparker), a kindred spirit who has also returned to school, pursuing a graduate degree in social work. She has "been there" for me in so many ways (I still remember with gratitude her invite last Thanksgiving Day for dinner, knowing I was alone). Her KINDNESS in helping me at a moment's notice with details about writing one of my papers and access to online research made all the difference in completing a hopefully well-done and interesting project.

"Your friend is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving." (Kahlil Gibran) My friends are my family, since I have no nuclear family and I, for all intents and purposes, live alone. Their KINDNESS and support and love nourishes and sustains me.

And, as I said in my status, I am SO deeply "thankful for the support and love -- and KINDNESS -- of SparkFriends, expressed in so many ways!" This community of kindred spirits enlivens and nurtures me in countless ways. I have met some...and hope to meet yet more this summer!!! You have made me smile when I've been down and made me laugh during the high times. I bow in gratitude to each one of you...truly.

So here's where we finally arrive at the subject of my blog..."what consitutes a life worthy to be remembered?" Watching this week's KarmaTube offering confirmed for me that, like Amy, KINDNESS is a supremely important value to me -- given and received.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal's film is lovely and spoke deeply to me. Click here to watch:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEENADEE 5/9/2010 2:03AM

    What a fabulous blog & fabulous life you're leading! Thanks for taking time to blog and share. You really make me think & that's a good thing.

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GOANNA2 5/8/2010 10:51PM

    Wow, what a great acheivement. Congratulations!
Let's hope I can do as well when I finish my studies.

I watched the video and was moved by it.

Anna emoticonc emoticon

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MAZZYR 5/8/2010 3:07PM

    Oh Maha, sometimes your posts are almost eerily similar to my thoughts. Specifically, I have been thinking about How Do I want to Be Remembered?

Last week my BIL's mom passed and I was sad. I was thinking that she was such a special lady, and what I admired most about her was that she was so kind.

You, dear Maha, are a special lady, one of a kind for sure.

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DARKTHOR 5/8/2010 1:11PM

    I think I'll remember your gratitude and try to ensure that it has a prominent place in my own heart as well. Thank you for sharing.

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XINIXINIX 5/8/2010 9:29AM

    This blog brought to you by the letter "A":

Awesome! (grade)
Andale !


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FRACTALMYTH 5/8/2010 9:23AM

    HUGS and huge congratulations!!!

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BECOMINGONE 5/8/2010 6:36AM

    I am honored to be among your friends. You are kind beyond measure and I have no doubt that is how you will be remembered when that day comes (hopefully many, many years from now). Love, Sandra

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WALKINGANNIE 5/8/2010 6:32AM

    emoticon on your achievements Maha. very well done indeed!

emoticon for introducing us to your friends and spiritual family.

emoticon for all YOUR kindness and wisdom.

emoticon for being one of a kind in a community of kindness.

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LOPEYP 5/8/2010 6:19AM

    What a nice blog! The nuclear family isn't always what it's cracked up to be. You are lucky to have a great group of friends.

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STILLPOINT 5/8/2010 12:13AM

    Beautiful Maha, I love the smile in your picture above, surrounded by your loving friends. They are, without a doubt, very blessed to be in your presence.

Will watch the video now.....thank you.



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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/7/2010 10:23PM

    I'd have it no other way either!

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DDOORN 5/7/2010 10:05PM

    What a beautiful community of caring you and your friends have cultivated together...! Thank you for sharing such inspiration!


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LYNNANN43 5/7/2010 10:04PM

    Oh, the end of the semester! I'm so happy for you! My daughter in grad school got the weekend off and then went back to summer classes:(

I only met you in person once, but it's a memory I still dearly treasure:D


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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2010 10:04PM

    This entry really puts things in perspective... how DO we want to be remembered? Let's live our lives to "make it so".


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SLASALLE 5/7/2010 9:54PM

    My dear friend, Maha - Congratulations to you on the completion of a crazy semester. Your accomplishments are truly amazing and I am so very proud of you!! I would love you every bit as much with a "C" in that class!! :-)

Your kindness is what drew me to you in the first place, my friend, so I think you're there.

With love,

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JCDROLSHAGEN 5/7/2010 9:51PM

    What a wonderful bunch of friends! Enjoy. However it is not wrong to be proud of your achievements either. Just keep a balance with the two.

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CARRAND 5/7/2010 9:38PM

    You are absolutely right. I want to be remembered as a kind person, too.

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2010 9:11PM

    Kindness -- I second that emotion! The older I get, the more important I think kindness is. More important than being clever or hardworking. It never hurts to be kind.

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PONDERTHIS 5/7/2010 9:10PM

    Thank you for this beautiful blog about your friends and the field of friendship you so earnestly cultivate. Blessings to you ~
Anne emoticon

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GREENCAT1 5/7/2010 9:06PM

    Lovely blog. You are so wise and seem to live life so fully. I am glad that you have a wonderful family of friends. I am glad that you are my Spark friend!

Cathy emoticon

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PENNYAN45 5/7/2010 9:01PM

    I imagine you will be remembered for your kindness, your warmth, your caring ways, and for all that you give to others.

I also think you would be remembered for the passion and enthusiasm you bring to your interests.

I know that much about you -- and we have never met!

Congratulations on the end of finals.... and on getting the A in the course. (Nobody ever gets remembered for their grades...not even by the teacher!)

Enjoy your summer - I hope to see you one day soon.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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