50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

What I Have Learned So Far

Monday, October 24, 2011

I try to ponder this daily and live my life based upon the wisdom --

What I Have Learned So Far

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of -- indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(New and Selected Poems Volume Two)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 10/27/2011 9:02AM

    To ponder or act?
Depends on the season of our time...

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 10/26/2011 11:57AM

    this ignited something in me. thanks for the spark!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 10/26/2011 9:24AM

    Be ignited.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEFULONE 10/25/2011 7:09PM

I bow in gratitude!
A time to meditate and a time to follow through where action is required.
Both are necessary for a balanced life.

Report Inappropriate Comment
COSMIC_ENERGY 10/24/2011 10:36PM

    Ah...if we could bottle and sell what we've learned so far.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 10/24/2011 3:39PM

    "Be ignited, or be gone." ...just LOVE IT! :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNNY332 10/24/2011 2:48PM

    Reminds me of one of my favorite passages of scripture.

Psalms 46:10. Be Still and know that I am God.

There are times when being still and being quiet are called for and I pray for the wisdom to know when those times come.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BELOVE2013 10/24/2011 2:32PM

    You make me smile.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISY443 10/24/2011 1:30PM

    A hard to learn lesson-to be still and just exist for a time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 10/24/2011 12:22PM

    Thank you. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
INSPIREBYNATURE 10/24/2011 11:55AM

    thanks for the fabulous pic and another beautiful poem from mary!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMRANA 10/24/2011 11:36AM


I don't see my daily meditation as a hardship at all ~ it is as vital as breathing to me. I *want* to go to that place. Of course, some of the best meditation in my life has happened in that very Temple... emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPY-DESTINY 10/24/2011 11:03AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 10/24/2011 10:18AM

    I need to take more time to just sit.. emoticon It is too easy to become that hamster running in the wheel...Te amo amiga

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 10/24/2011 9:58AM

    I will sit and ponder this beautiful morning - waiting for the sunrise.
And enjoy a fantasitc cuppa cuppa..... emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do I *really* understand this important aspect of life?


There's this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.

What does the world
mean to you if you can't trust it
to go on shining when you're

not there? and there's
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
with honey.

I said to the chickadee, singing his heart out in the
green pine tree:

little dazzler
little song,
little mouthful.

The shape climbs up out of the curled grass. It
grunts into view. There is no measure
for the confidence at the bottom of its eyes -
there is no telling
the suppleness of its shoulders as it turns
and yawns.
Near the fallen tree
something - a leaf snapped loose
from the branch and fluttering down - tries to pull me
into its trap of attention.

It pulls me
into its trap of attention.

And when I turn again, the bear is gone.

Look, hasn't my body already felt
like the body of a flower?

Look, I want to love this world
as though it's the last chance I'm ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

Sometimes in late summer I won't touch anything, not
the flowers, not the blackberries
brimming in the thickets; I won't drink
from the pond; I won't name the birds or the trees;
I won't whisper my own name.

One morning
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn't see me - and I thought:

so this is the world.
I'm not in it.
It is beautiful.

~ Mary Oliver

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMIC_ENERGY 10/23/2011 10:22AM

    I love how fall looks and occassionally how it feels. The shorter days with less light seem to affect my body and my mood and I try to remember, this too shall pass, nuture myself more, be more vigilant about what I put in my body.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLEEH 10/22/2011 8:56PM

    Very nice. Gorgeous photos.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CATS_MEOW_0911 10/21/2011 4:41PM

    Thank you for sharing--beautiful.


Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 10/21/2011 1:05PM

    Thanks, I always love to see what you share, you have such a grounding effect on me. I did watch and enjoy the Joseph Campbell Mythos 1 and James Broughton short film series. So glad you inspired me to broaden my horizon on these two great men. I hope your season is delightful to the senses. Have you seen The Fox and the Girl, French film, wonderful. The pics of the foxes on here remind me of the fox in that movie.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 10/21/2011 1:05PM

    Wonderful to know many 'octobers' will pass once we're not here...

Report Inappropriate Comment
RIDMYCOCOON 10/21/2011 12:45PM

    Thanks for tickling my spirit! I am sure my feet will land lightly in my firm footing today because of you emoticon

I really enjoyed this writing. Thanks Foxy Lady. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARKTHOR 10/21/2011 11:40AM

    Thank you for the beautiful words and for being a part of my world this day and all the others.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 10/21/2011 9:10AM

    Oh I adore foxes. That - and the poem - and seeing your name come up - really made me smile this morning.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 10/21/2011 9:00AM

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 10/21/2011 12:27AM

    What beautiful images and thoughts to help me reflect as this day closes. Thank you. Glad you're back!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 10/20/2011 8:30PM

    This is gorgeous . . . especially with your photos!!

This is our last chance to be alive and it's great to be reminded of that. To be drawn into the trap of paying attention to that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCESCANAZ 10/20/2011 6:04PM

    I am so glad your Spark break was so short! I have missed you mi amiga. Gracias por las palabras lindas. Te amo emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Mary Oliver makes my heart happy!!!!!!! as do you:)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 10/20/2011 4:20PM

    Thank you Maha. Just beautiful. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SM-ARTGIRL 10/20/2011 3:02PM

    This is amazing. I thought I was reading Rumi until the end. Now I must seek this poet, Mary Oliver.
Thank you.
The world without me is so very beautiful.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 10/20/2011 2:55PM

    Ah. A shot of Mary Oliver for my day. Thank you, Dear Maha! I love it when you're here.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 10/20/2011 2:53PM

    How this line lingers...

"I want to love this world
as though it's the last chance I'm ever going to get
to be alive
and know it."

Thank you so much as ever, 'Maha!


Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 10/20/2011 2:49PM

    Another lovely blog! Did you take the top photo? I love it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRACTALMYTH 10/20/2011 2:29PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISY443 10/20/2011 1:55PM

    Thank you! Miss you! Hugs!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DMPRIDER 10/20/2011 1:54PM

    Beautiful. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNNY332 10/20/2011 1:53PM

    I just love Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful poem.

Just finished reading a good book - Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell. It was great! I will send it to you if you would like to read it.

Take care and good to see you post. I have been missing your blogs.

Sunny emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

September Meditation

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jumping on just long enough to share this splendid end-of-September offering from dear Joe at

September Meditation

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.

I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.

I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers the moon.

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.

Perhaps that is the reason for our births -- to be the memory for

Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
"What can you tell me about September?"

~ Burton D. Carley ~

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SM-ARTGIRL 10/20/2011 3:06PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLISCIOUS 10/6/2011 9:30PM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTPANDA 10/5/2011 10:51AM

    Thank you for sharing this! Namaste.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEFULONE 10/3/2011 1:31AM

    Love your blogs-always!
Many, many thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
2BMYOWN 10/2/2011 9:33PM

    Awesome. Thanx for sharing with us, Maha!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLEEH 10/2/2011 11:02AM

    Love this! Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 10/1/2011 7:06AM

    Actually, squirrels have no freakin' clue most of the time. Hence they bury a LOT of nuts and hope to remember a few of 'em. This is why the Northeast in particular has so many hardwood trees.

Senile squirrels.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISY443 10/1/2011 6:32AM

    September is my birth month, so this was especially meaningful to me. Thank you, dear Maha!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 9/30/2011 11:21PM

    I am really in love with this September. Such a nice time of life. Thanks for the post.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/30/2011 9:05PM

    Hmmm. I'm thinking that the squirrels remember very well all their hiding-places in my old house . . . and are busily chewing new holes adjacent to the ones we blocked up!!

But yeah, I concur: this is a beautiful meditation on one of the loveliest times of the year . . .

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 9/30/2011 7:24PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/30/2011 5:34PM

    Beautiful Maha. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 9/30/2011 4:09PM

Stop by and visit my nature blog, Maha, when you get a chance. It's the Fun Guy one - I think you will enjoy it.


Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 9/30/2011 11:19AM

    Brings such a smile to me!

Thank you 'Maha,


Report Inappropriate Comment

    so beautiful

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMRANA 9/30/2011 9:30AM


Report Inappropriate Comment

Love's expressions....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I often feel deficient in my ability to articulate love -- in words and actions. Here is a beautiful story of love-in-action. May I learn by example --

Watch the beauty unfold:

Here is Shirley's biography (she's my neighbor now, one state over in TN!):

The vocation of these filmmakers is a pristine example of what, on the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path, is called "Right Livelihood:"


And as always, I am grateful to have been enlivened and inspired by KarmaTube, a project of CharityFocus, an all-volunteer run organization, whose aim is to enable individuals to contribute in meaningful ways to the world around them. Together, they hope to "be the change we wish to see in the world."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 10/2/2011 9:31PM

    I sat here and cried.....thank you for sharing this, Maha, it was absolutely stunning. I 'shared' it on my FB page for others to see, also (the link to the video, not your blog....LOL). I have never seen something like this.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHENPOSSIBLE 9/25/2011 10:36PM

    Very refreshing and heartwarming. I'm going to tell my boyfriend right now how much I love and appreciate him...even though I tell him multiple times a day, you can never shower someone with too much love. Thanks for posting this wonderful blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/24/2011 8:58PM

    What very lovable elephants! Their pleasure is so joyous!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISY443 9/24/2011 3:53PM

    emoticon So many kinds of love, so hard to articulate it, so easy to show it! The elephants teach us a valuable lesson!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 9/24/2011 2:10PM

    Thank you so much, with tears in my eyes, and hope in my heart, I can start my weekend dreaming of a better future for us all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 9/24/2011 1:15PM

    I was struck by the first words of your post: "I often feel deficient in my ability to articulate love"

1) Love is so vast that truly articulating it is impossible
2) You are not deficient; you are exactly right just as you are, and your attempts to articulate love are what make you beautiful!

Loved the elephant video!

P.S. My name is Tara, just like Shirley's friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/24/2011 12:38PM

    This story moved me to tears.
I am so happy for the elephants.
Thanks so much for sharing. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATRINAKAT23 9/24/2011 11:51AM

  What a sad but beautiful story. I am so happy Shirley got reunited with Jenny. I hope she lives the rest of her life in peace and happiness.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SM-ARTGIRL 9/24/2011 11:40AM

    Love emoticon Love

Thank you emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Oh how I love this

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASALLE 9/24/2011 11:08AM

    That gave me a nice, big full heart this morning. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISS_VIV 9/24/2011 10:24AM

    love, love, love
spread it around, share it
Use it up - just try - it is never ending.
Give it and you will receive it.

Find a new way each day to articulate. Anything is possible with love. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOKEYOKEY 9/24/2011 10:20AM

    So beautiful!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 9/24/2011 9:58AM

    One can never have enough ways to show & share our love for each other...many thx for sharing, 'Maha!


Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 9/24/2011 9:39AM

    Aw sweet. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

Fall Classic Cycling steps

Monday, September 19, 2011

Last Saturday I participated in my first ever bicycling event, sponsored by our local bike organization, Conway Advocates for Bicycles (CAB). It was a picture-perfect day, and I decided to limit myself to the intermediate ride as I reached the 1 half-way mark for the 28-mile course. My butt was sore and I was experiencing some calf cramping and tightness (damn the doesn't happen often, but I never know when it will...I had eaten my daily banana too!).

Upon completing the route, I noticed some definite tightness in the quads as well. I then did some stretching, and luckily I felt no residue on Sunday!

A tasty lunch was served all the cyclists (perhaps somewhere around 100 total), which I enjoyed with lots of good conversation on this sparkling day. Thanks to fellow CAB member and photographer, Rick Bell, I have a few shots:

338, lucky number!

First incline!

Some stuck around for the drawing, etc.

My dear friend Fritzie, who I talked into doing the tour, won the Grand Prize in the raffle, a sexy Orbea road bike from Spain (+/-$1300).

Fritzie had been riding her road bike since 1977 -- she bought it new when she started law school, I believe! She gave it to our Guatemalan friend, Victor, who also did the cycling tour. He rode 45-mile route, but had to stop a couple miles from the finish because his gears malfunctioned. Great timing on Fritzie's gift!

My feeling, as I completed the course, is that I want to do more serious, long-distance cycling, building up strength and endurance, so that I can easily handle the 45- or 63-mile route next fall...and eventually on to a CENTURY RIDE, like my SparkHero Don Doorn...before I hit MY century mark (ok, so that gives me 30 years, LOL)!!!

Don said, after completing his first 100-miles ride last summer, "Breaking through to my century was such a LIBERATING, EMPOWERING feeling! I feel like, okay, let's hop on my bike, spin the wheel and go wherever I want to go! The SKY'S the LIMIT!"

BTW, Don FIRST broke the "century" barrier with his weight...he is carrying around 120 fewer pounds!!! And indeed he has done TWO 100+ rides this summer as well, through NY's Finger Lakes and the Big Apple!


I TOO want to be a "Certifiable CyclePath" when I grow up!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLASALLE 10/7/2011 5:05PM

    Now how did I miss this? Oh yeah, now I remember how!!! :-) Great pictures. It is truly amazing the way you continue to live life to the fullest ... keep on keepin' on, my dear.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/29/2011 12:23PM

    Holy emoticon, Maha!

Thanks again for introducing me to Don too -- he really is a Certifiable CyclePath hero! And you're right there with him in achievement, my dear.

Are you still loving the VitaSport? Mine still rides like a dream. I know this is true partly because I have worn the break pads down to questionable levels already this season! And yet, a century -- or even a fraction of one -- seems thoroughly impossible to me. You and Don and all other such athletic souls are so amazing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARKTHOR 9/26/2011 11:15AM

    You are just so awesome Maha. Keep living life so beautifully. Congratulations to your friend, that looks like a FANTASTIC bike! Just being around you brings good things to people, it seems.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAKIPOPUP 9/25/2011 7:14AM




Report Inappropriate Comment
SM-ARTGIRL 9/24/2011 11:49AM

    You dont need to wait to grow up to be a "cyclepath" Maha, I think you maybe there already...!
I can hear the passion for your long term challenge!

Totally karma with your friend's win! So awesome!

Comment edited on: 9/24/2011 11:51:13 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You make it sound wonderful. Inclines and all.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    YOU are sooo cute! I think IŽll rename you Maha Taha! For some silly reason it seems to fit! See, I can be silly too! YOU maze me, girlfriend, and I am so proud of YOU! This is epic - imagine what century would be?!
emoticonever so much for your encouragement. I appreciate your comments on my blog and this last one lifted my head up a bit more!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 9/22/2011 7:14PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 9/22/2011 6:04AM

    First off, Don is totally freakin awesome.

Second, you're 70??? Hush mah mouth! Nuh uh!

Third, 338 is lucky!

Fourth, cool on the raffle prize/gift serendipity

Fifth, love the photos!

Sixth, there is no number six! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLEEH 9/21/2011 7:02AM

    Looks like a wonderful day! I'm glad you had such a nice time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEFULONE 9/21/2011 12:29AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLI_MAE 9/20/2011 5:24PM

    I think maybe you was born a cyclepath! Hi, Maha! I'm gettin' back in here, taking care of expired blog scripts, etc., so you may have a partner in the sore butt camp!

Carli {{ | }} (fat ass)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 9/20/2011 12:59PM

    Great photos and stories!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTPANDA 9/20/2011 11:21AM

    Awesome! I can't wait to get on a bike again. I promised myself a new bike when I reached a certain weight loss goal and I plan to make it a good one so that I can go on long bike trips again. The most I have ever ridden is 40 miles per day, not typical, but I once rode at least 24 miles per day for fun.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    this is fabulous!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALIGIRL 9/20/2011 8:49AM

    Here's to being a "Certifiable CyclePath"!
emoticonphotos emoticon for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
2BMYOWN 9/20/2011 12:34AM

    I personally think both of you are impressive as hell! LOL Obviously, this fat butt has not been on a bicycle in ages that doesn't have a motor to do the work. Man, I wish there were some sparky buds in my own area.....or ANYONE who really wanted to exercise anything more than their mouth muscles.......kudos for doing such a great job, Maha!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHENPOSSIBLE 9/19/2011 10:35PM

    Awesome job on the race and congrats to your friend for winning such a stunning bike. I'm jelly of her! Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing your wonderful smile and spirit.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GENKI_WARRIOR 9/19/2011 9:41PM

    This is pure-d-AWESOMESAUCE! Thanks so much for sharing here!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GROEDER 9/19/2011 9:11PM

    That sounds like a great ride!!!! The more serious I get about cycling, the more I want to try a ride like that. In fact, I'm planning my own 60 mile ride with some friends later this fall. I don't know what that will be like, but I'm anxious to give it a try.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDLECRAZY 9/19/2011 8:13PM

    Woohoo - look at YOU! Fantastic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 9/19/2011 8:08PM

    Hey fellow CP (cyclepath!)! Way to GO on your trek!

Great pics too!

Working on my blog on my latest adventure...hoping to post later!


Comment edited on: 9/19/2011 10:52:35 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAZZYR 9/19/2011 7:54PM

    Oh Maha, I'm impressed!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 9/19/2011 6:42PM

    So awesome, so inspiring, thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Makes me want to hop on my bike right now!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Last Page