Friday, May 14, 2010
I really appreciate Organic Consumers Association, a watch dog organization that provides great information and lobbies for change in this most important area -- the food we eat! Here's a summary from the article in their latest e-newsletter that just arrived to my Inbox today. I provided the link to the full article at the end of this blog.
This kind of information is sobering, but important to know about and consider acting upon. I don't take any medicine...*clean* food is my medicine.
The President's Cancer Panel says that the "risk of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated," that "nearly 80,000 chemicals [are] on the market in the United States, many of which are ... understudied and largely unregulated," and that "the public remains unaware ... that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults."
The panel says "evidence suggests that some environmental agents may initiate or promote cancer by disrupting normal immune and endocrine system functions. The burgeoning number and complexity of known or suspected environmental carcinogens compel us to act to protect public health, even though we may lack irrefutable proof of harm."
Check out these examples selected from the recommendations:
* Parents and child care providers should choose foods, house and garden products, play spaces, toys, medicines, and medical tests that will minimize children's exposure to toxins. Ideally, both mothers and fathers should avoid exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
* It is preferable to use filtered tap water instead of commercially bottled water.
* Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing ... food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers [translation: organics] and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues.
* Exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feedlots can be minimized by eating free-range meat [translation: don't eat feedlot meat].
-- Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, reporting in the Atlantic, May 12, 2010, on a new report from the President's Cancer Panel.
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)
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."
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
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
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 ~
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.
Kennellyâ€™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, â€śPoetry my Arseâ€ť. Another long (400 page) epic poem, â€śThe Book of Judasâ€ť, published in 1991, topped the Irish bestseller list.
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 DAY PROCLAMATION OF1870
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!
"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,
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