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For all those who have served....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My purveyor of fine poetry, Joe Riley,, sent this, and he says it so well, I won't try to improve upon it:

"For nearly ten years now, the United States has been at war in one form or another. Hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have served with honor despite the hardships, and thousands have made the ultimate sacrifice. All around us are those who have served who carry scars in the heart as well as the body. No matter what our individual political views, let us honor all who have served and pray for the day when they will have to sacrifice no more."

From a cemetery near Omaha Beach, Normandy, France


I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The delight of the blood drawn from ancient springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth;
Never to deny its pleasure in the simple morning light,
Nor its grave evening demand for love;
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are fĂȘted by the waving grass,
And by the streamers of white cloud,
And whispers of wind in the listening sky;
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.

~ Stephen Spender ~

The music is acoustic guitar, "The Gift of Life" by Bruce BecVar:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    AMEN, You said it so very nice.

Comment edited on: 6/1/2011 6:25:36 AM

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DDOORN 5/31/2011 11:52AM

    Honor the Troops:

Bring 'em HOME!


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KALIGIRL 5/29/2011 11:20AM

    "let us honor all who have served and pray for the day when they will have to sacrifice no more."
Can't say it any better.
emoticon emoticon

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GIRLINBRAZIL 5/29/2011 8:10AM

    Love acoustic guitar music! Going to check out your link right now! Great post.

Here's one for you:

Take care,


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GOANNA2 5/29/2011 4:38AM

    I love you Maha as you always know
how to make us smile and remember.
Thanks again for posting. emoticon

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MARTY728 5/28/2011 11:18PM


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BLUEBIRDSFLY 5/28/2011 11:14PM

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you Maha. emoticon

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    thank you for this! memorial day is a very special day...everyday should be memorial day!

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BELOVE2013 5/28/2011 10:54PM

    Thank you for posting such a beautiful entry.

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CARRAND 5/28/2011 8:49PM

    Wonderful. Thank you.

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DAISY443 5/28/2011 2:30PM

    As always, thank you!

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XINIXINIX 5/28/2011 11:33AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JESPAH 5/28/2011 11:09AM


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SUNNY332 5/28/2011 11:01AM

    Beautiful - absolutely beautiful.

For all those who served and paid the ultimate price - we will be forever indebted to you.

Thank you so much for a great post.


The book is on the way to the post office.

Do enjoy - it's a great one....

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WATERMELLEN 5/28/2011 10:44AM

    That Stephen Spender is so thrilling; we can love the warriors, if not (sometimes) the wars . . . and we do.

Canada celebrates Remembrance Day in November and it's touching how the recognition of our soldiers' sacrifices has intensified during the recent period in which Canada has moved out of a primarily peace keeping role into more active combat. Not everyone agrees with this government direction, but there is huge respect and appreciation for the armed forces who carry it out.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/28/2011 10:35AM

    Thanks Stephanie...yes, EVERYBODY...including my dear former husband/partner Robert, a Viet Nam vet whose deep psychological and physical unhealed wounds mean that his life will never be whole.....

Comment edited on: 5/28/2011 10:05:35 PM

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SLASALLE 5/28/2011 10:26AM

    Well said and I understand why you didn't think you could improve upon it!!

It's so sad, the people I've been close to who have wounded hearts directly related to their service (you know this one only too well yourself).

A good friend of mine (the one we visited on Crete when she was stationed there), retired a few years ago with 20 years of Navy service. I had to ask her the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, because believe it or not, I did not know!!

So here's to EVERYBODY who has served for us to keep our freedoms, despite the fact that Memorial Day is for those who served and lost their lives! I've given total witness to those who served and are technically alive, but in reality, their spirits were totally dead due to their physical and psychological wounds!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Click here:

The Greek word for encouragement is "paraklesis." It literally means "to be called to one's side." Stand by someone today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SINGAGAIN 5/30/2011 1:19PM

    Wow, that was beautiful. I'm crying. Thanks for sharing it.

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BLUEBIRDSFLY 5/28/2011 11:25PM

    Maha, you share the most wonderful gifts with us. Thank you.



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EOSTAR_45 5/28/2011 2:21PM

    Awesome video. emoticon Very touching.

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_VALEO_ 5/28/2011 12:16PM

    Wow, I was not prepared for that... and it brought me to tears.

Love the "Have you" father's T-shirt. They have each other no matter the hurdles.

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RUSSELLORAMA 5/28/2011 12:12PM

    I remember watching that when it happened and just bawling like a baby. As long as we can keep moving, we can succeed.

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KRISKECK 5/28/2011 8:50AM

    Thank you -- you always have the most wonderful things to share!

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    beautiful. makes me cry!

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2BMYOWN 5/27/2011 10:08PM

    Absolutely wonderful, thank you for posting this, Maha, this was stupendous.....

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GOANNA2 5/27/2011 6:14PM

    I had tears in my eyes. Very moved by it.
You know how to move and inspire us.
Have a beautiful weekend. emoticon emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/27/2011 3:37PM

    Brought me to tears, dear Mahalakshmi. And thank you for the beautiful flowers poem from Mary Oliver. How lovely for you to immerse yourself in a new book of her's. The spirit blooms in reading her divine imagination. You are in good company with Mary Oliver at your side. emoticon

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CARRAND 5/27/2011 2:50PM

    I remember seeing this when it happened.

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CLAYKEEPER 5/27/2011 11:16AM

    We have the capacity for SO much love ! Thank you for sharing this post !
annette emoticon

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FYRCOP 5/27/2011 10:52AM

    This is a great link! I remember this race and I applauded from the comforts of my home as I watched the whole event unfold!

This is inspiration to the nth. degree!

Great post. Thanks for sharing this link. I forgot about this race until I clicked on the link. Then it all came back to watching it that day.


Stay focused, keep moving and walk, walk, walk!

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MISS_VIV 5/27/2011 10:48AM I am in tears - thank you - again.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

This is what moves me...when all seems bleak and I wonder why even bother eating right, why bother moving this ol'bod'...just...why bother? When it's like this, the awareness of the Source Energy, the Ground of Being, the "music of the spheres" buoys me and makes me content in this moment, for this moment is my life --

The Silence of the Stars

When Laurens van der Post one night
In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen
He couldn't hear the stars
Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,
Half-smiling. They examined his face
To see whether he was joking
Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men
Who plant nothing, who have almost
Nothing to hunt, who live
On almost nothing, and with no one
But themselves, led him away
From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
And stood with him under the night sky
And listened. One of them whispered,
Do you not hear them now?
And van der Post listened, not wanting
To disbelieve, but had to answer,
No. They walked him slowly
Like a sick man to the small dim
Circle of firelight and told him
They were terribly sorry,
And he felt even sorrier
For himself and blamed his ancestors
For their strange loss of hearing,
Which was his loss now. On some clear nights
When nearby houses have turned off their televisions,
When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
Are between sirens and the jets overhead
Are between crossings, when the wind
Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
I look at the stars again as I first did
To school myself in the names of constellations
And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
I can still hear what I thought
At the edge of silence where the inside jokes
Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
My fair share of the music of the spheres
And clusters of ripening stars,
Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
Still tending even tone-deaf creatures
Through their exiles in the desert.

~ David Wagoner ~
(Traveling Light)

Thank you David Wagoner for this awe-inspiring offering --

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/24/2011 10:41AM


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WATERMELLEN 5/24/2011 7:53AM

    "When all seems bleak" . . .yes it does, sometimes: and the singing of the spheres helps, immeasurably!


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JESPAH 5/21/2011 8:43AM


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GOANNA2 5/21/2011 7:11AM

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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FRACTALMYTH 5/21/2011 12:39AM

    Wasn't that an amazing one??? I stored it in my treasure box :D where I keep all sorts of shiny beautiful happy things - including YOU!!!! Love as always, my dear friend!

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2BMYOWN 5/20/2011 4:58PM

    Absolutely lovely, Maha!

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KALIGIRL 5/20/2011 1:13PM

    Here's to the 'moments' of our lives - they're all we have!

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PUDLECRAZY 5/19/2011 10:29PM

    And yet another lovely selection of poems to feed the spirit. Thank you, Maha.


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GIRLINBRAZIL 5/19/2011 8:50PM

    One of the things I most appreciate about living in the middle of nowhere is seeing the Milky Way and all the stars clearly!

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CARRAND 5/19/2011 8:42PM

    What a wonderful poem. We don't see many stars here this close to the city, but when we lived in Bermuda the stars were spectacular. We used to lie on the beach at night and just stare up at the heavens. The music we heard was tree frogs, a sound I still miss.

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SINGAGAIN 5/19/2011 1:45PM


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DDOORN 5/19/2011 11:48AM

    Beautiful share...tuning into the stars and our inner music!

I wonder if thoughts like these were part of Keith Jarrett's experience behind his pipe organ album (very classical, not jazzy at all!) Hymns/Spheres:

"Hymns/Spheres, the original double LP from which the four pieces here are drawn, was perhaps too long and somewhat self-indulgent, and ultimately risked tedium. Yet the album contained some of the most transcendent music Keith Jarrett has recorded. In 1976, he came upon the mighty Trinity Organ, built by Karl Joseph Riepp (1710-1775) at the Benedictine Abbey in Ottobeuren, and proceeded to extend its already awesome capabilities by experimenting with partial openings of its stops. The result was an array of eerie tonalities with which he could accomplish a memorable contribution to the long tradition of organ improvisation. The opening section of the nine-part "Sphere" (four selections of which comprise this release) is a grand, piercing, and elevating summoning of shadowy recesses of the spirit, and of their liberation in devotion to whatever one's gods."


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CLAYKEEPER 5/19/2011 10:52AM

    ... and I can see why ! It is supposed to read : beautiful, weepingly beautiful.... I guess the cosmos grabbed the first 'send'...

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JESPAH 5/19/2011 10:48AM

    Interesting - I love the pic of rocks, they seem almost like cerebral folds. Hmm....

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DARKTHOR 5/19/2011 9:45AM

    This is a poem that fills a spot that needs filling in the world. Thank you.

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SUNNY332 5/19/2011 9:11AM

    Loved it!

Thanks so much for sharing.


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My astrology reading this week!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Though I'm definitely a skeptic when it comes to taking generic astrology readings seriously, I've always liked Rob Brezsny's quirky off-beat approach . I've been "tuned in" to him since the 80's when I used to read his predictions in the San Francisco Bay Guardian "underground news and entertainment rag." This "dyed-in-the-wool" Pisces is especially intrigued by this week's reading.

PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," said science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. So in other words, if you were able to time-travel back to pre-Columbus Ecuador with a laptop computer and a solar-powered battery charger, the Indians might regard you as a wizard with supernatural powers. I think there will soon be a similar principle at work in your life, Pisces: You will get a vivid glimpse of amazing things you could accomplish in the future. They may seem fantastic and impossible to the person you are right now -- tantamount to magic. Be alert for expanded states of awareness that reveal who you could ultimately become.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
YES! Kewel, eh. I changed the place names to customize it, but left reading intact. Oh, and I LOVE Arthur C. Clarke's writing (his most famous was the fabulous 2001: A Space Odyssey movie/book).

My pal WatermEllen is referring to Brezsny's PRONOIA: The Antidote for Paranoia, a wonderful treatise on "becoming a wildly disciplined, fiercely tender, ironically sincere, scrupulously curious, aggressively sensitive, blasphemously reverent, lyrically logical, lustfully compassionate Master of Rowdy Bliss" that I own and have purchased for other friends as well --

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 5/19/2011 8:37AM

    Hmmmmm...checked my horoscope and it said something about bugs covered in chocolate and a tendency to see the 'unpalatable' things of life right now..... emoticon How come I can't get a 'kewel' one like you? LOL Guess that means you're just spayshal, huh? Either way, sure sounds to me like you have an exciting future waiting for ya! Go GRAB it, Maha! I think you more than deserve some greatness along the way!

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DOR2BFIT 5/18/2011 4:39PM

    What a wonderful reading! So you! emoticon

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JESPAH 5/18/2011 11:44AM

    Rowdy bliss - there's an alcoholic drink in there somewhere, eh? ;)

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DDOORN 5/18/2011 11:16AM

    Sounding just like what the doctor ordered! :-)

Used to love reading sci-fi when younger and had time for reading. Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov and so many others! Technology can certainly seem like magic...for instance the first color tv, VCR player and now SO many more things to dazzle, entrance & mystify us...yet also to "distract" us from important stuff if we allow...!


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KALIGIRL 5/18/2011 10:08AM

    Ah "expanded states of awareness" - who could ask for more?

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FRANCESCANAZ 5/18/2011 9:00AM

    You really are a Wizardress (is that a word?) with super natural powers!! emoticon

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SINGAGAIN 5/18/2011 12:09AM

    I love this! I enjoyed visiting the link you provided & I'm excited to receive my windfall this week.. (libra) Thanks for sharing!! Love & hugs, Jodee

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VEEJAY3 5/17/2011 10:03PM

    I recently threw a birthday party for a long-time friend. I hosted it with another friend who was determined to have an astrologer, a tarot-reader, and a psychic at the party. The astrologer requested everyone's birthday, location, and exact time of birth ... and said she'd prepare for us all in advance.

Well, the party was fun. The tarot reader was tipsy and hilarious, but not any good. The psychic was so popular that I never got to visit her. And the astrologer? AMAZING! I couldn't believe it. It was very fun. And she challenged me to walk down some new roads. ALWAYS good advice.

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WATERMELLEN 5/17/2011 10:01PM

    The pronoia guy: he rocks!!

And yeah, hugely good things gotta be coming your way!!

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    Kewel is the operative word.

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CARRAND 5/17/2011 8:28PM

    Technology often seems like magic to me.

I've always enjoyed Arthur C. Clarke, too.

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GOANNA2 5/17/2011 6:22PM

    emoticonIt is amazing.

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CLAYKEEPER 5/17/2011 6:09PM

    I know that YOU know it's all in there... just let it burst forth !

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XINIXINIX 5/17/2011 5:56PM

    Brezsny is fabuloso!! What's not to love about predictions of tapping into your own magic?



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For a New Beginning

Monday, May 16, 2011

~My bicycle has always symbolized something about moving on, moving out, taking risks, joy.~

~Oh, and the Toyota Dolphin spells Adventure with a capital "A."~

My first adventure in the Toyota Dolphin the summer of 2009 took me to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and beyond. Last summer I made a 5000-mile east coast circuit, meeting dear SparkFriends during the journey (including dear PUDLECRAZY and FRANCESCANAZ!).

~Yellowstone, 2009. Ecuador (which means equator in Spanish!) is 0 degrees latitude, sitting as it does on the equator.~

~Yellowstone, 2009. Oh YEAH?~

~Yellowstone, 2009. Yeah, with change comes entrance onto that unknown, untraversed road.~

As my trip to Ecuador is now just around the corner (June 8-August 17), I have much to consider. Stepping out into the unknown reaches of my life is not as easy as it was a few years ago...but I still nourish that spirit of change...change is something I'm intimately acquainted with. My SparkPeople wallpaper panorama photo is the valley in northern Ecuador that I call "home." There are also some Ecuador pictures in my Photo Gallery.

Honoring the need to care lovingly for this body-mind-spirit temple, I plunge within, looking at ways to change the quality and direction of my life in this unique phase of my life. So then, as I move through this difficult period, when messages like this poem, For a New Beginning, appear in my Inbox I take notice.

John O'Donohue reverberates within my heart and spirit in this call --

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAID 5/25/2011 9:01PM

    Wish I weren't pinching pennies just now--this is just the kind of thing I love to do. But instead am heading to Michigan for a three week jaunt with hubby to visit old pals. Wasn't enthused, but am going to find some new spots there and en route. Must be something worth seeing that I've never seen before there!


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PEDAL-PUSHER 5/19/2011 5:53PM

    This poem speaks to me.....I will have to print it out and frame it.Thanks!

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PENNYAN45 5/19/2011 5:29PM

    I love the poem!
And what a great adventure your trip to Ecuador will be!


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EOSTAR_45 5/18/2011 11:35AM

    I LOVE this John Donahue poem. Every time I read it, a new layer of meaning unfolds for me. It's very hopeful. The background photo of the valley in Ecuador is stunning. For some reason I thought your trip was later in the summer but alas, it is just around the corner isn't it?

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DARKTHOR 5/18/2011 10:50AM

    May the sun smile down upon you and warm your skin, wherever you are. May the glow of friendship carry you, whenever you need carrying. Have a wonderful trip.

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LISANANCY 5/17/2011 7:17PM

    Oh, an adventure, how I do love an adventure. My spirit sings just at the thought of this trip. emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/17/2011 3:22PM

    Isn't it exciting to have that to look forward to? I can't wait for details of your journey. Loved the poem and passed it on.

Take care and my friend!


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DDOORN 5/17/2011 1:22PM

    Yet another gem that I'm sure speaks so well of the promise of Ecuador!

Your journeys both throughout and beyond our country are so impressive and envious! I'm especially wanting to tour around America...ideally on two wheels! The need for employment will limit me to shorter venues for the next 11 years or so...but then...? :-)


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FRANCESCANAZ 5/17/2011 10:37AM

    Oh How we wish you were coming north again instead of south...You are going to have a great summer! Vaya con Dios mi amiga. emoticon Francesca, Papi, Timothy Zeus & Onyx.

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JESPAH 5/17/2011 8:35AM

    Go out there. Do and be. Make yourself again and again. :)

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2BMYOWN 5/17/2011 12:19AM

    Geez, you are so courageous and adventurous, Maha.....when I grow up, I wanna be JUST LIKE YOU!!!!! I wouldn't even have the guts to take off in the Dolphin, let alone take off for another country! LOL I tried for 10 years just to get myself to drive to freaking Michigan......FROM OHIO, for gawd's sake.........nope, never made it. Sooo, I gotta ask...was there ever a time when you had a fear of just getting out there and doing....and overcame it...or have you always just been an adventurous soul? LOVE the poem.....

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CARRAND 5/16/2011 9:53PM

    A wonderful poem - again. I love the phrase "in the out-of-the-way places of the heart". I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip. Take and share lots of pictures, please.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/16/2011 8:56PM

    To the next adventure, drawing you forward. I admire your spirit! May the sun shine upon all your days.

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PUDLECRAZY 5/16/2011 7:48PM

    Ah, another poem that speaks to the journey of change.

I remember reading Passages by Gail Sheehy when I was going through a difficult spell in my late 20's. At that point in my life, I was appalled, shocked, and disappointed to discover that getting through that rough passage wasn't the one huge bump I needed to face and rise above.

Once I got through the next couple, they have almost become reassuring. More lessons along the path of life. They aren't always pleasant, but there is a confidence that they are not insurmountable.

I know that you have a spirit of exploration, in the simplest literal translation, yes, but more importantly in the exploration of the spirit. Yes, bump, but it will not defeat you.

Love getting a peek at the Dolphin. I had so much fun visiting with you on one of your adventures.

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BLUEBIRDSFLY 5/16/2011 6:11PM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog and the gift of a poem that I am going to copy and read over and over again.
What a brave and courageous soul you are. Enjoy each and every moment of your adventure.

Comment edited on: 5/16/2011 6:14:02 PM

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GOANNA2 5/16/2011 5:54PM

    Thanks for the wonderful poem Maha.
I agree about changes. As you know, I am
also taking off soon and while I am gone for
3 months I will also address whether to go
back and live there for good. Life is too short
and I plan on taking all the opportunities.
I always love your blogs and admire you so much.
emoticon emoticon

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CINDYC53 5/16/2011 1:12PM

    What a wonderful blog!! I'm excited for you during this period of growth. Thanks, too for the WONDERFUL poem, which spoke to me on so many levels. I've been blogging recently about big changes in my eating plan, and they are changes that run deep into my old stuff - "unable to leave that I've outgrown."
I'm so glad you are my spark friend. I value you, Maha!

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KALIGIRL 5/16/2011 12:29PM

    "Awaken your spirit to adventure"...
I love how that resonates with my "body-mind-spirit temple", except being the non-risk-taker that I am, I need to 'live' vicariously through you!

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    Well girlfriend I am very excited for you. I want to say as a kind of blessing that you are one of the most adventurous and engaging sprits I have ever encountered. I truly wish that this next phase of your life brings you back liberated from the things that are dragging you down. Few though significant that they be.

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DIHEALTHYHAPPY 5/16/2011 11:26AM

    Thanks for sharing this! I have eight more teaching days before retirement so this really hit home! :)

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MALCONTENTION 5/16/2011 10:41AM

    This is perfect for this new phase of my life. Thanks for sharing, and best to you in exploring these themes yourself!

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SINGAGAIN 5/16/2011 10:32AM

    I LOVE this blog!! This poem is describing how I feel right now as I come out of hiding into life again. Thank you for sharing yourself so beautifully. Have a lovely day! Love & hugs, Jodee

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RUSSELLORAMA 5/16/2011 10:17AM

    That's it! That "sameness" will suck your soul dry.

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EMRANA 5/16/2011 9:43AM

  What a wonderful poem and a beautiful photo!

You and I both "hold nothing back." I'm going to love to hear about your trip to Ecuador!


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CLAYKEEPER 5/16/2011 9:43AM

    ALL time is the right time... no worries, enjoy the journey as you make your way along YOUR path ! It is impossible to make a mistake...

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DEBRA0818 5/16/2011 9:42AM

    It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

I am happy to be exploring what is on the other side of all that sameness.

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DAISY443 5/16/2011 9:33AM

    I wish for you the joys of "A new beginning". Each moment of our lives holds that promise, if we are just open to it! You are truly stepping out onto that new ground, embrace it! Be my inspiration!

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