Thursday, October 14, 2010
This wonderful poem of Longfellow's, a strong affirmation to life, arrived this morning, as I prepare to depart for San Francisco (airport tomorrow morning at 6:00am) to attend a teaching of the venerable Pema Chodron www.smileatfear.com and then have several days with dear friends in the Bay Area, heading back to AR Oct 25. There will be a PJ party at Sandra's tonight (c'mon...the more the merrier!) to begin this wonderful adventure! She has graciously offered to drop me at the airport at that ungodly hour...AND pick me up as well!
Me'n my dear friend Sandra5898 in the primroses
"To act, that each tomorrow find us farther than today," and yes, "time is fleeting," we all know that we should "trust no Future, howe'er pleasant...all these thoughts from the poem, among others, reminded me of the ever-present recollections of this summer's adventure...as I travel now again, this time airbound. Here are three random glimpses of the sublime summer, still a fresh part of my REAL ongoing celebration of life--
Yellow Springs, OH was big enough to contain me'n WildHoneyPie1 (AND PudleCrazy!)...just barely
My home for three months is hiding out in southern IN
With our Treks on a ferry on Lake Champlain, FrancescaNaz and I are heading to Burlington, VT to meet DokeyOkey for a biking adventure
As we all bounce between the dualities of life...the joy and the sadness, laughter and tears, heat and cold (you get the picture), the underlying vibration of Longfellow's words carry us forward through it all. I offer today's gift from Panhala to us all, as my "hasta luego."
People of Chile celebrating the rescue of the 33 miners!
A PSALM OF LIFE
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!--
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,-- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
(Voices of the Night)
Friday, October 08, 2010
While we affluent overweight Americans -- as well as those of us from other industrialized nations -- try to resist heaping another portion of dinner on our plates or buying an ice cream cone, street children in Thailand beg for money to buy food to survive. This week's KarmaTube offering about the children of the trains puts things in perspective....
Thursday, October 07, 2010
HUDDLED BENEATH THE SKY
The sadness I have caused any face
by letting a stray word
I have caused you,
what can I do to make us even?
Demand a hundred fold of me - I'll pay it.
During the day I hold my feet accountable
to watch out for wondrous insects and their friends.
Why would I want to bring horror
into their extraordinary
Magnetic fields draw us to Light; they move our limbs and thoughts.
But it is still dark; if our hearts do not hold a lantern,
we will stumble over each other,
huddled beneath the sky
as we are.
~ Rumi ~
(Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)
I've shared biographical information about the great Jelaluddin Rumi in past posts, but I've never shared anything on Daniel Ladinsky:
Daniel Ladinsky is an American poet. He was born and raised in the Midwest United States. For six years he made his home in a spiritual community in western India, where he worked in a rural clinic free to the poor, and lived with the intimate disciples and family of Meher Baba. In introductions to his Hafez poetry, Ladinsky notes that he offers interpretations of the poet Hafez, rather than translations. He believes that it is more important to convey the emotions in Hafez's poetry than to keep the same rhythm in the English language, and he uses the most simple words possible.
Praise and Criticism
Since the release of Ladinsky's first book, I Heard God Laughing, his ostensible renderings of Hafiz have become widely quoted. The fact that Ladinsky's poems do not actually represent Hafez' work was a source of embarrassment for Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, when it was discovered that the poem McGuinty had recited from Ladinsky's book at a Nowruz celebration in Toronto had no corresponding Persian original.
Many point out that Ladinsky's poems are originals, and not translations or interpretations of Hafez. Christopher Shackle describes The Gift as "not so much a paraphrase as a parody of the wondrously wrought style of the greatest master of Persian art-poetry."
Ladinsky's work has garnered positive commentary from Akbar S. Ahmed and been favorably endorsed by The Christian Science Monitor writer, Alexandra Marks, and has been quoted in contemporary Muslim American non-fiction. Some hail Ladinsky's contemporary work for creating an immediate access to the spirit and intention of Hafiz' verse. Ladinsky authored a short essay in the form of an Amazon.com review, entitled My Portrait of Hafiz, that offers a description of the process and background of his work. The Islamic Foundation of North America has used Ladinsky's The Gift in a children's Islamic Literature curriculum.. He has also reviewed contemporary poetry, such as Full on Arrival.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
About a week ago, I got this recipe off of someone's(???) blog, and I don't have a CLUE who it was. Anyone? I'd love to give credit to whoever I got it from because my housemate and I LOVED IT!
YAY! WILLOW49 posted below...and it was her blog that I lifted the nobby cake from! THANKS SO MUCH Willow (bowing and scraping)! I'm going to make it again this weekend (many pears to use!), and this time I'm going to cut down on the sugar by 1/2-1/3.
Molasses is a key ingredient...and not only does it add a distinctive taste to this cake, but blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates, or artificial sweeteners like saccharine or aspartame, which not only provide no useful nutrients but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals, blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health: It is an excellent source of manganese and copper, a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium and a good source of vitamin B6 and selenium.
I looked up the word nobby and it's British slang, and means fashionable or elegant; stylish; chic. On the other hand "knobby" is a rounded projection from a surface, such as a lump on a tree trunk. The way the diced fruit projects out of the surface makes me think that the latter spelling, Knobby Apple Cake, would more accurately describe this dessert.
Nobby Apple Cake
3/4 c. sugar (I used granulated cane juice crystals, aka Sucanat)
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
1 egg, beaten (if I don't have eggs I substitute 2Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. water)
3 c. chopped apples (I have also used pears)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour (I use 100% WW)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
Cream sugar and butter; add molasses, beaten egg and mix well. Add apples, nuts and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and combine well with apple mixture. It's an odd-looking concoction, very thick.
Spread evenly into a greased 8 or 9" square pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes (I double the recipe and use a 9"x13" dish; it takes more like 45-55 minutes). Serve hot or cold.
My housemate and I both love this.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
The title of today's blog is the headline for a most interesting article I read today in the Life section of USA Today. Though I didn't find it on their website, I DID find the article:
The article says in part, "Yet despite these hazards (the link between alcohol and breast cancer), because alcohol also reduces the risk of coronary artery disease, studies have found that women who indulged in a drink or two a day actually had a slightly lower overall risk of dying from a heart attack....The risk of dying from a sudden heart rhythm disturbance drops, too, by 36 percent, for women who have a drink a day...."
Sooooo, I started wondering whether the heart benefits of wine were equally available by eating the grapes themselves or drinking pure grape juice? Here's a Mayo Clinic response to that question:
DOES GRAPE JUICE OFFER THE SAME HEART BENEFITS AS RED WINE?
Answer from Martha Grogan, M.D.
"It's thought that red or purple grape products may reduce your risk of heart disease by relaxing your blood vessels, allowing your blood to more easily flow. This benefit is most likely due to substances called antioxidants found in the skin and seeds of grapes â€” especially dark red and purple grapes. One particularly important antioxidant, resveratrol, is also found in grape juice â€” especially juice made from dark purple Concord grapes.
"Recent studies have suggested that red and purple grape juices may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine, including:
* Reducing the risk of blood clots
* Reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol
* Preventing damage to blood vessels in your heart
* Helping maintain a healthy blood pressure
"Both red wine and grape juice also contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to increase your high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol and lower your risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), and may help lower blood pressure.
"Eating whole red or purple grapes has benefits, as well. Some research suggests eating whole grapes also delivers the same antioxidants that are in grape juice and wine. You also get the benefit of the fiber if you eat whole grapes.
"These findings on grape juice are good news for people who want the cardiovascular benefits of red wine without the alcohol. Remember, if you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation â€” no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men."
Though I don't generally drink juices (I prefer the fruits from which the juice is derived), Knudsen's Organic Concord Grape 100% Juice is my choice when I do! Funny thing, I used to hesitate to buy it because of the price. But when I compare it to a good bottle of wine (other than the Trader Joe's Shaw wine!), it's a bargain!
With Kaligirl's comment about polyphenols (a type of antioxidant), I had something else to investigate!
First of all, "Polyphenols are chemicals found in foods that help to prevent the damage of free radicals in the body---unstable molecules that can damage the arteries and cause numerous health problems. Different types of polyphenols exist, and eating a wide variety of foods will ensure you get the healthiest diet possible. Several studies have been conducted in an attempt to learn which foods contribute the highest levels of polyphenols to our bodies."
I wanted to know more about these food sources of them. The one I quoted from above was especially concise, and continued:
"The USDA lists blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, citrus fruits and other fruits as good sources of polyphenols...dark grapes, bilberries, cherries, apples, dark plums, blackberries and blueberries were all good sources as well. Fruit juices, such as grape juice, can render especially high levels of polyphenols. All fruits contain polyphenols or other antioxidants, and a healthy diet should contain around three servings of color-rich berries, citrus, melons, fruits with a pit or other fruits each day."
The article continues, discussing all food sources for polyphenols:
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