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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Am I ready?

When I left for the summer in Ecuador and Colombia I weighed 131. Here are some exquisite reminders of last summer with my Latino family:

My dear friend Adelaida, as we trundled through Putumayo, a state in the jungles of Colombia

Amrita (my god daughter, Adelaida's daughter) and I enjoying oranges after harvesting many, in San Agustin, Colombia

German (Amrita's dad) and I enjoying a delicious lunch at a friend's house in San Agustin

I'm sad to say that, far from the 131 lbs. I began the summer with, the scale saw me seriously flirting with 150 lbs. today.

The sirens go off, red lights come on, anxiety levels increase...I feel out of control!

I know that tracking food intake again is the key to reversing this disaster-in-the-making. AND, I'm surprised to say that I actually logged in my food while uploading the photos. I did well on all fronts, calories, fats, and carbs. As always, my protein is a little low, but I don't subscribe to the protein level that SP does. So, for today at least, I AM ACCOUNTABLE.

I had a sumptuous salad for lunch today -- a big pile of arugula and romaine greens, with chopped celery, cucumber, red peppers, strawberries -- all organic, sliced avocado and feta cheese. Here's what it looked like:

I enjoy Annie's Naturals dressings and tried a new one today on the salad:

I am becoming more regular with exercise finally. I'm beginning to feel a consistency with strength training. I'm not doing as well with aerobic activity, although TODAY my special friend SANDRA5898 and I met and went bicycling. It was a beautiful day and her company was JUST what I needed. It was perfect in every way.

Yep! Here we are leaving Panera's where we enjoyed coffee and catching up!

So, I hope this is the beginning of moving back into balance in the midst of it all. I'll keep you updated!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ME_HERE_NOW 2/1/2012 11:39PM

    you are flipping the page, writing the story of your life the way you want it to read, and i love it!

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GIRANIMAL 1/31/2012 12:15PM

    Oh, Maha, you give me hope. emoticon

I am positively freaking over 6-9 pounds that FEELS like 20 lately, and here you are, in your calm wisdom, approaching your own scale madness with the grace that only you can. emoticon

Hope you enjoyed your ride! I loved my my ride into work today -- 45 degrees and sunny, at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 31 in Chicago!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Oh! And your salad looks dreamy. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/31/2012 12:15:46 PM

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GENKI_WARRIOR 1/31/2012 9:52AM


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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2012 7:19PM

    Tracking is the key, and you're back on track!

Good for you. Give yourself credit.

You've caught the trend before it became entrenched.

Good for you again!

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PUDLECRAZY 1/30/2012 7:11PM

    With this determination, you will be back on track. You did it before and you can turn it around again. I wish I could make you some yummy, nutritious, and diet friendly meals.

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GOANNA2 1/30/2012 3:48PM

    emoticonYou are well on your way to
losing all that you gained. I just loved your salad.
Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.
Anna emoticon

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BECOMINGONE 1/30/2012 10:36AM

    You know you're going to lose it. How many years have you maintained your weight loss? You're not about to let it go now. Just have to get vigilant again .... and what better time of the year to ride bicycle? Loved riding with you yesterday. Going to explore the trail some today .... maybe we can ride again on Sunday?????


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HIPPICHICK1 1/30/2012 10:15AM

    Being ever vigilant seems to be the only cure (for me, anyway) to avoid the creep - those pounds that creep back on our bodies when we aren't being vigilant.
That salad looks fab!!

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CRYSTALJEM 1/30/2012 9:49AM

    You've recognized it so now you can do it! It makes me feel better to know that people like you still have to make it work sometimes - it's not just "magic" so to speak. Thanks for the honesty and showing us all how to stay committed even when those pounds start sneeking back on.

I am definitely suffering from a food hangover today - and I've decided it doesn't really feel any better than a booze hangover, just different! Glad I read your blog - today I'm back to being accountable and I won't cry in my soup (don't need the extra salt!) I'll just eat it and stay on track.

Ok, off to do chores and then yoga and then maybe more sparking..... guess I should fit work in there somewhere.... drat! LOL Have a sparkly day! CJ

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JESPAH 1/30/2012 9:26AM

    Balance, balance! :)

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SUNNY332 1/30/2012 9:20AM

    ...and what a perfect day yesterday for biking.

Great Blog and BTW, the salad looked great.

Do have a good week.


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MAZZYR 1/30/2012 8:48AM

    I am recommitting to releasing weight, dear Maha, so your blog and pictures are just what I needed to read and see this morning. I'm always looking to add healthy low calorie delicious meals to my menu. BTW, DH uses Annie's Naturals Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette and loves it.

I can already see us getting thinner each and every day.


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KALIGIRL 1/30/2012 8:35AM

    Here's to accountability to our goals! Glad to hear the exercise is becoming part of your life and you had a wonderful excursion with Sandra.

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BILL60 1/30/2012 7:59AM

    Allright, let's get serious and lose it quickly and efficiently. You can do it!!

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DAISY443 1/30/2012 6:33AM

    Great pics, thanks for sharing! I see a lot of us are having the winter blahs and having trouble getting back on track. So, here's to us and to getting healthier!

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JUST_BREATHE08 1/30/2012 5:39AM

    emoticonBlog. Thank you for sharing. I loved the pictures.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/30/2012 2:28AM

    When you have goal that you are passionate about, and you give it your time and energy, you have already succeeded! You're already there, just by trying.

I'm going to go drink a toast to your health. Water, but in a wine glass, so it's extra special! Bonne sante, Maha!

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2BMYOWN 1/29/2012 11:15PM

    You guys are so lucky, living close enough to ride together. I wish I could find some sparkers in this neck of the woods, now that I actually have time to do something. LOL But then I never know how long that will last....I'll be stumping the pavement this coming week to try to find another job and I'm sure it'll be something with no weekends off, if I'm lucky enough to find anything at all. (sigh) Keep it up, Maha, you'll lose that excess in no time, I have a feeling.....

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DDOORN 1/29/2012 10:12PM

    Kudos to getting down to business! Nothing like getting out with a SparkBuddy for a ride!

Gotta put the hammer to it and get serious with the nutrition tracker and accountability with my food choices!

Right there with you 'Maha! Looking forward to my first ride of the year...SOMETIME...although we've had mild weather for January it's still been just a bit too cold for me to consider riding just yet.


Comment edited on: 1/29/2012 10:13:32 PM

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2WHEELEDSHARON 1/29/2012 10:09PM

    Yes! You know exactly what you need! Good friends, good food, and good tracking. Me too:-)
Thanks for sharing such beautiful piks.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/29/2012 9:48PM


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    YOu've got this!! And that Annie's dressing made my mouth water! Adore you!

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/29/2012 9:45PM

    In one week's time I went from feeling solid in my plan to get rid of the holiday weight feeling like a total loser...and I don't mean a weight loser. The food tracker is my best friend again!

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DMPRIDER 1/29/2012 9:28PM

    You are getting yourself back on the right track and that is the key. Persistence, not perfection is the name of the game. You can do it!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/29/2012 9:26PM

    Looks like you've found your way back on track. For me, tracking food is internal calorie estimator is broken....I always think I've eaten less than I actually have. the tracker keeps me straight.

That looks like a great salad, and you pictures are fantastic. I've spent time in Ecuador and all of south america!

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DEUSMACHINA 1/29/2012 8:54PM

    Oh my! That lunch looks divine! (trust me to focus on the food...)

Excellent work on the tracking. You're right: it *is* the key!

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_RAMONA 1/29/2012 8:48PM

    The two of you look SO joyFULL, and I'm glad for you that you're finding your way to a better place for yourself!

Love you BUNCHES, mAHA!
{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

P.S. I am SO envious of you with your lovely Sparkfriends where you can TOUCH them, LOL!

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BECOMINGONE 1/29/2012 8:12PM

    Accountability to oneself ... what a concept? Love the picture of us ... and you know how I LOVE to have my picture taken. I saved it to my hard drive .... maybe i'll put it on my refrigerator to remind me of the next frontier. Can't wait until next time we ride together ... LOL


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CHANGING-TURTLE 1/29/2012 8:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EMRANA 1/29/2012 8:00PM

  Can't go wrong with Panera's! YUM!

I'm sure you'll be back to 131 in no time. You're so active and dedicated.


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RAPUNZEL53 1/29/2012 8:00PM

  Great pictures! God Luck!

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Straight talk

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I am struck dumb by my teacher, Mary Oliver --

Straight Talk From Fox

Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment's miracle. Don't think I haven't
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Red Bird)

I poured over, and then posted on, my friend Sandras' blog about forgiveness earlier this morning: Because of a rough period I've been traversing recently (as well as habits and behavior of a lifetime), reading, digesting, and responding to her heart's outpouring was not easy.

And then to segue to Fox's "straight talk" -- truly struck me dumb for a long spell, sending me into self-reflection. Since returning from the holidays month in California I've sunk into a shadow place that has been seemingly holding me captive (dumb I know, but that's how it has felt). The deeper I have sunk into the darkness, the more impotent I've felt. I don't feel the necessity of going into detail, but suffice it to say that the end result has been chaos in every part of my daily life.

I believe my lack of movement has been the major culprit in adding pounds to my body, and as I near 150 pounds, all the red lights and alarms have started going off, because that is the No-Woman's Land that I never want to enter again, a place in the downward spiral from which an increasing slide out of control has inevitably resulted. In the years since I've released the 203 pounds, and mostly "lived" close to 130 pounds, 140 has historically been the place when I'd again "get serious" about roping in my habits, but yesterday I was 148.7, a scary place that I want to quickly move away from.

Yesterday, a little gleam of light somehow found its way into my spirit and, dressing warmly for the 32 degrees morning, I jumped on my bike to cycle the five miles to campus. This is my second instance of *serious* movement (late last week I completed upper body strength training) since my Jan 7 return from San Francisco. These two victories may seem puny, but they feel very important in my battle with the dark side of my nature.

I need a many-pronged approach to begin the climb out of this dark place, and this morning's return to another session of strength training will be part of today's intention. So here's what today looks like~~

~ strength training
~ complete unpacking luggage (do I sense a lack of *grounding* here?) from Jan 7 return
~ store suitcases (is there some symbolism here?)
~ finish course assignments for tomorrow
~ complete two parts of job tasks
~ head into town for haircut and shopping
~ a large dose of joy!

...and VOILA! Here I am world, ready-or-not, beginning the climb once again into that "place just right:"
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
UPDATE on this gray, rainy afternoon --

~ strength training and village chores completed
~ suitcases unpacked and stored
~ bed made with fresh flannel sheets
~ class work begun
~ job tasks being carried over to tomorrow through the weekend
~ tasty food prepared:

A kale and rainbow chard saute, heaped upon roasted potato, the greens bed topped with pinto beans, cottage cheese, and salsa, all heated, smashed avocado spooned on last.

And what about this for dessert: Fresh organic strawberries sliced into Fage 0% Greek Yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup and a handful of toasted organic walnuts thrown on top? Do I hear a resounding YUM? Now to begin tracking food again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 1/31/2012 11:30PM

    Seems I'm always a day late and a dollar just now catching up on your blogs.....again. (sigh) But I'm glad you were able to pull yourself up out of the abyss. I just wanna know why the abyss is so easy to fall into, repeatedly. Personally, I think it's a cosmic conspiracy. Kudos on having enough fortitude to know what you have to do, and then DOING it, that's exactly where a lot of people fall short! I don't know where you find the pics you post on your blogs, but gotta love that fox! LOL

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DEBRA0818 1/27/2012 3:18PM


Many thanks for your comments at my blog and I see you have more to add than you think: your menu sounds like just the thing I'm meant to be doing now, and it looks like a great thing to be dedicated to at that!

Finding your way back to good habits just feels so right whether the sun is circling Pisces for the 15th time or the 70th. The truth (about health and good habits) never changes.

Cheers, Deb
emoticon emoticon

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DARKTHOR 1/27/2012 12:41PM

    I really like the steps you set for yourself and am happy that you achieved them. Moving in a (any?) positive direction beats stagnating by a country mile. (Are miles bigger in the country?)

I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/27/2012 1:26AM

    Really loved that straight talk from fox...thanks, it filled my heart with music!

For the dark places...I have been thinking a little about them and wondering if my dark places maybe are the places the godly inspiration will come from - in loving bright blessed lala land not much happens..;-)

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JUST_BREATHE08 1/26/2012 11:07PM

    Sending emoticon to you!!

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WATERMELLEN 1/26/2012 8:23PM

    So sorry that you've been in a dark place. It's amazing what great art will do to help with that . . . and your beloved Mary Oliver is a great artist.

Congrats to you on your victories today. Wishing you victories tomorrow too.

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BECOMINGONE 1/26/2012 7:47PM

    Dear one,
I just read your blog. Know you are loved ... You do not need to be in that dark place alone. I am always available to listen or just be with you.

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MAZZYR 1/26/2012 10:01AM

    Good morning, dear Maha.

Your update on all that you have accomplished is inspiring me to stop thinking about all that I need to do and just do it.

BTW, YUM, YUM, YUM in response to your food choices.


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JESPAH 1/26/2012 9:23AM


Renewal is great, ain't it?

And I agree - your putting your suitcases away and unpacking are probably going to go a long way to making you feel more settled. I've found that decrapifying has been doing that for me. :)

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/25/2012 11:53PM

    Yes, a resounding YUM! There's your large dose of joy! Your blog sparked some memories in me, which led me to some excerpts of Muriel Rukeyser's poem 'Kathe Kollwitz.'

my lifetime
listens to yours.

The faces of the sufferers
in the street, in dailiness,
their lives showing
through their bodies
a look as of music
the revolutionary look
that says I am in the world
to change the world
my lifetime
is to love to endure to suffer the music
to set its portrait
up as a sheet of the world
the most moving the most alive
What would happen in one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.

Thanks for telling the truth about your life, Maha.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/25/2012 11:11PM

    Sending hugs emoticon

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GOANNA2 1/25/2012 8:31PM

    First of all - YUM! I am sorry to hear that you are feeling
blue. emoticon emoticonYou will come out of this
and the first steps you have taken are proof of that. We have all
been to that dark place and just reading the fox and the words of
Gibrain are just what is needed for the soul. You are on the right
track. Love you, Maha. emoticon emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 1/25/2012 3:14PM

    I always find that physical activity is my way out of the dark patches, yet it can be so elusive. Emotional stress/shutdown seems to shut down the desire to be physically active, the thing that helps me most. One little step in the right direction, though, and it becomes less and less difficult to pull forward toward a lighter being.

Your foray out on your bike is a great beginning to finding your way out of the downward spiral. I wish you lived closer.


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DAISY443 1/25/2012 2:51PM

    Hugs, my friend!

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_RAMONA 1/25/2012 2:47PM

    Ah.. my friend... I've wondered at your silence... something about it didn't 'feel' right (as silly as that may sound).

"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, lying dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." WASHINGTON IRVING

YOU are such a woman, and you will find your way anew... and my heart sorrows for your struggle, yet I rejoice because,

"Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention."

I've been thinking about this a lot of late. Not just body but spirit changes shape and with good cause.

And I danced... because "What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours."


...And I have to thank you for other gifts given and received with rejoicing and awe:

~ Ann (of course I knew it was the two of you ... how do you think I found Ann... I followed YOU... one of the brightest stars in my heart... even from distances dark)
~ Sandra
~ Mary Oliver
~ breath coming easier
~ delight
~Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss (oh my heart broke with JOY!)
~ leading me to myself will ever repay you?

Until I find a way... May today and every day bring to you a ridiculous abundance of whatever you need. May all your concerns, struggles, anxieties and fears fall like ashes as you rise on eagle's wings, SOARING above all that would hinder you along this tremendous adventure of being and becoming all you are created to be. May the grace of God simply "overtake" you moment by moment. May the joy and victory of the risen Lord be yours in a very personal way... may you always be overwhelmed by the grace of God, rather than by the cares of life! AMEN.

{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

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VALERIEMAHA 1/25/2012 2:39PM

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...this Gibran selection is soooooooo perfect.

Bowing in gratitude,

Here are my dear friends WILDHONEYPIE1 (below) and PUDLECRAZY (above):


Comment edited on: 1/25/2012 3:33:02 PM

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WILDHONEYPIE1 1/25/2012 1:32PM

    Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your
laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your
being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very
cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your
spirit, the very wood that was hollowed
with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into
your heart and you shall find it is only that
which has given you sorrow that is giving
you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in
your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been
your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than
sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is
the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits
alone with you at your board, remember
that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales be-
tween your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at
standstill and balanced.

-excerpt from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

(reflections I've had to hold onto myself lately) emoticon

ps I loved Fox

Comment edited on: 1/25/2012 1:33:10 PM

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    a LARGE dose of joy! LOVE THIS!

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MYTIME001 1/25/2012 11:40AM

    What a lovely poem. We have a fox that visits regularly, and now next time we see the fox it will be in the light of this poem. Thanks for sharing that!
I has no idea that you have shed so much weight. What an amazing victory. I can understand about the warning bells going off. All the best in vanquishing the dark...and those pounds you don't want.

Thank you for this blog.

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MISS_VIV 1/25/2012 10:34AM

    And then the little groundhog... dug her way to the light . . . There is no reason to stay in that dark space any longer. Love and light await you when you ride like the wind into the day. Have a super, super day and know that you are loved and we miss you when you don't come out to play. emoticon

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DDOORN 1/25/2012 10:13AM

    So sorry to hear of your struggles, 'Maha...! We are similar: silence does NOT become us...! No news is almost always NOT good news!

Great plans for the days ahead! Hope you can hear & see the cheering crowds in our hearts! I know these struggles are so internal, but nonetheless don't ever hesitate to let us know if there's anything we can do to help!


ps...and YES, Sandras' blog was very special! I could SO relate!

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SUNNY332 1/25/2012 10:12AM

    Way to go on the Straight Talk! I know when I don't exercise, I get to feeling a little down too.

Good plan to get going again.
BTW - Loved the Mary Oliver poem today - especially
this part.

I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.

Give it your best today and be joyful!


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I had it in mind to blog again when I have the last of the photos from my sojourn on the west coast, but this...THIS transcendent Oliver needs to be shared with my SparkFriends. I hope it bathes your soul in shimmering light as it did mine.


Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks --
whose backs were also

covered with snow --
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the duck's tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
crouch there, and live.

If someone you didn't know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

Belief isn't always easy.
But this much I have learned --
if not enough else --
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn't a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness --

as now and again
some rare person has suggested --
is a miracle.
As surely it is.

~ Mary Oliver --such an amazing link!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 1/31/2012 11:32PM

    I need to read Mary Oliver....she seems to 'speak' my language, and I have never heard of her prior to reading your blogs....thanks for posting this!

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SHANTISHANTI 1/27/2012 12:26PM

    I found Mary Oliver's work in 2005 when I was at my yoga teacher training at her sooooooo much. Thanks Maha. Namaste, Mary Ann

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2012 7:52PM

    Kindness IS a miracle: and so too, this beautifully crafted poem. Thank you!!

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DOR2BFIT 1/21/2012 7:40PM

    Beautiful. Yes I believe it. emoticon

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FRACTALMYTH 1/21/2012 4:53PM


I find myself remembering one of my favourite poems from long ago - Marianne Moore's "Poetry"... perhaps because here, Oliver has beautifully fulfilled Moore's true purpose of poetry as "a place for the genuine"...

Dear sister of the soul, don't you just love imaginary gardens with real toads in them?

Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 4:56:50 PM

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JESPAH 1/21/2012 11:49AM

    Sweet and wonderful, as ever.

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RIDMYCOCOON 1/19/2012 10:01PM


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JUST_BREATHE08 1/19/2012 7:40PM

    emoticonAbsolutely Beautiful...Thank you so much for sharing!!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 1/19/2012 1:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/19/2012 8:51AM

    Wonderful - how she manages to make us understand everyday miracles may be a miracle in itself...
Namaste emoticon

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PEACEFULONE 1/19/2012 1:51AM

    Again my soul is touched. Again I thank you dear Maha.

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DMPRIDER 1/18/2012 11:45PM

    As always, thank you for sharing!

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_RAMONA 1/18/2012 9:43PM

    Ah... Maha... this is sublime!

"let them crouch there and live."
"This wasn't a miracle. Unless, of course, kindness..."
"But this much I have learned... to live with my eyes open."

Such lessons for my life... I have such a strongly ingrained and narrowly defined sense of 'justice' ...which I've come to rue... it gets in the way of letting others 'crouch and live' gets in the way of grace and breathing freely.

...And kindness I see as more and more a miracle in my life... at least it feels so... and I feel miraculous in the receiving. Nothing feels to me more human and at once divine, these days, as kindness.

With my eyes open I am trying to live. Is it having turned 50? I only now see how closed my eyes have been.

THANK YOU, for sharing dear friend!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

P.S. I LOVE the site... I visit often... I learn many lessons...

"Your love should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you."

Comment edited on: 1/18/2012 10:09:55 PM

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DXWALKER1 1/18/2012 9:28PM

    Words for the soul. Thank you for posting.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/18/2012 9:26PM

    Lovely Maha, lovely!

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SUNNY332 1/18/2012 7:04PM

    You know I love Mary Oliver and this one was beautiful.

Hope you are having a GREAT week.


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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/18/2012 6:55PM

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HIPPICHICK1 1/18/2012 5:59PM


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FRANCESCANAZ 1/18/2012 5:37PM

    Muchas Gracias Maha. That was your birthday gift to me today emoticon

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DDOORN 1/18/2012 4:25PM

    Such a smile and sigh this brings from me...lovely blog site too...must return on a slower-paced day. Thank you so much for sharing, 'Maha!


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PENNYAN45 1/18/2012 3:06PM

    Thanks for again sharing beautiful images and words from Mary Oliver. Kindness is a miracle.

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GIANTPANDA 1/18/2012 2:52PM

    Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photo and poem! emoticon emoticon

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MISS_VIV 1/18/2012 2:21PM

    And yet another piece from Mary Oliver resonates with me today.. sent by my fantastic friend Maha...


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SLASALLE 1/18/2012 2:15PM

    Stunning thoughts, but that is always the case with Oliver, don't you think? I've not seen this one before, so many thanks!! I DEFINITELY believe kindness is a miracle!!!

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DAISY443 1/18/2012 2:14PM

    "As surely it is" Thanks for sharing this beautiful thought!

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    Oh how I love Mary Oliver. beautiful...thank you so much!

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In Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Psalms 15

Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.

(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)

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My dear friend Don Doorn shared these amazing links with me. Please take time for them...they're all worth it --

In His Own Words:

Gifted NYT Op/Ed writer Paul Krugman:

Washington Post Op/Ed:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 1/31/2012 11:39PM

    I love Martin Luther King......I keep a picture of him in my bible because to me, he epitomizes what God is really all about. I don't understand why this world is such that the brightest lights always seem to fall victim to the darkness. I suppose there has to be a reason for it all, but I'm not smart enough to know what it might be. We are a species that certainly seems hellbent on destroying whatever is good and loving and all-encompassing. It's plain tragic. But I echo whoever said they were glad that a national holiday was devoted to this soul....

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SLASALLE 1/19/2012 8:12PM

    Truly, an incredible and very rare man. I spent a bit of time on Monday thinking about how right it was to declare a holiday in honor of this visionary. If only the entire world could see him as such.

Thank you, as always, for your enlightening blogs!!!


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KALIGIRL 1/17/2012 9:04AM

    An amazing man emoticon

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FRANCESCANAZ 1/17/2012 8:41AM

    Amen Hermana!

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GOANNA2 1/17/2012 1:15AM

    Thank you dear Maha. emoticon

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/16/2012 11:49PM

    Thank you, Maha. emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/16/2012 6:48PM

    Love it....
Off to check out the Links.

Our Soldier was in charge of the Martin Luther Memorial today on his Army Post. He called to say it went well. Wish I could have been there.

Huggers, Sunny

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PUDLECRAZY 1/16/2012 6:26PM

    Amen. And I love the photograph. Two men who made important and lasting impacts on the world.

Neither King's, nor Gandhi's work is done. We should not be complacent.

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 6:26:28 PM

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SMILEYBEE 1/16/2012 5:35PM

    From my DIL today, "Quantifying my feelings about Dr. King is difficult, as I can't fully express my deep gratitude for the work he did to make my family possible ... I think about this often but today as I focus on his work I feel overwhelmed by emotions of gratitude for a man who was taken too soon. Your dream is my family's reality and I thank you."

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    Love this! MLK was awesome!

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 7:17:29 PM

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IPA-RAY 1/16/2012 11:19AM


We could use another leader and visonary like him. His dream remains a dream but his influence has helped bring about many changes.

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HIPPICHICK1 1/16/2012 11:10AM

    Thanks for this. As a Canadian I don't know much about MLK other than he was a great visionary and was sadly assassinated so again, emoticon.

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BECOMINGONE 1/16/2012 11:05AM

    Thanks, Maha. Love the translated Psalm. Appreciated the links ,,,

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XQUIZITE1 1/16/2012 10:26AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/16/2012 9:56AM


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JESPAH 1/16/2012 9:29AM

    Screw spreading the Spark. Spread the compassion instead, and the Spark will follow.

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DDOORN 1/16/2012 9:14AM

    King's legacies, wisdom and lessons are so greatly undiscovered and underappreciated by far, far too many.

Thx for re-sharing, 'Maha!


More great thoughts on King:

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 9:36:39 AM

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DAISY443 1/16/2012 9:13AM


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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/16/2012 8:38AM

    Support and surround ourselves with these compassionate people. Be that compassionate person! emoticon

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The truth about trees....

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Do you think of them as decoration?

Think again.

Here are maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.

May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
But I think
it would do us good if we would think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

-- Mary Oliver, from Evidence

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 1/31/2012 11:45PM

    The a child, I used to sit down in the grass and just listen to the sound the wind made as it blew thru a grove of pines in the field behind our house. I'll never forget that....I watched a movie once called Phenomenon, with John Travolta...and the one scene that stays with me was what a comfort he derived from watching the trees swaying in the winds, and listening to them, closing his eyes and just hearing them...because that is exactly what I used to do. There's really nothing quite like it....I can't even picture a world without trees.

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SLASALLE 1/18/2012 2:17PM

    I'm WAY behind in my reading of blogs, obviously!!! Another wonderful Oliver poem. Being a tree hugger from long ago, I KNOW better than trees being decoration!!

Tomorrow, I will want to read your blog on MLK!!!


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CRYSTALJEM 12/28/2011 5:26PM

    Wonderful! Trees are one of my best companions. I love the picture, such grandeur! Have a great day. Namaste my friend.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/19/2011 12:12PM

    So beautiful. Gosh, I just love trees.


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PENNYAN45 12/2/2011 9:04PM

    Trees are one of my passions. I live among them - and I love them in every season.

And what a beautiful poem. Another beautiful, poignant poem from Mary Oliver.

Thanks so much for posting it.



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HIPPICHICK1 12/1/2011 2:26PM

    I think of trees as a gift that allows me to breathe.
Hey that rhymes!!
I love your blogs.

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FLORIDASUN 11/30/2011 7:53PM

    Sooo beautiful as always...and SO always! emoticon

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CITYZOZO 11/30/2011 5:43PM

    love it!

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RIDMYCOCOON 11/29/2011 4:25PM

    I look upon them as family. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/29/2011 4:26:47 PM

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ME_HERE_NOW 11/29/2011 12:44PM

    i have always had an affinity for trees, and now i dress them up in yarn, teehee :)

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2WHEELEDSHARON 11/29/2011 7:06AM


I agree, trees are decorated enough as they are. The picture reminds me of the view from my hammock!

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KELLEEH 11/28/2011 7:52PM


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GOANNA2 11/28/2011 9:56AM

    I love the trees and Mary Oliver and
also you dear Maha who always inspires us. emoticon

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DOKEYOKEY 11/28/2011 9:55AM

    I love trees and feel grateful to live in a place where they are so abundant. And of course, I love Mary Oliver for writing such a wonderful poem that reminds us to be still. And I love you for posting such wonderful reminders with such steadfastness!


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PEACEFULONE 11/28/2011 9:49AM

    Ah yes trees are wonderful. Besides being beautiful they give shade, oxygen and sometimes even fruits and nuts. Other favorites are the Banyan trees and all varieties of palm trees. We have added trees to every yard where we have lived. I am and always will be a tree hugger! Thank you Maha for sharing this!
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JESPAH 11/28/2011 9:36AM

    They're chippie* houses.

*Chipmunks, as opposed to loose women. Although I suppose earthy loose women who didn't mind outdoor plumbing could live in 'em as well.

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KALIGIRL 11/28/2011 8:28AM

    Here's to the holy ways!

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ON2VICTORY 11/28/2011 8:13AM

    love it! :)

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I adore Mary Oliver....and you!

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DDOORN 11/28/2011 12:16AM

    We have some old and sadly unhealthy maples both in our front and back yard. They are so huge and have seen so many years standing guard over and protecting our home...such vital members of our family!


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FRANCESCANAZ 11/27/2011 8:08PM

    I'll never get over losing the giant weeping willow in our yard during Irene emoticon We'll plant more trees, but you can never replace an old, old tree.

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SUNNY332 11/27/2011 7:29PM

    I love trees and every year, we plant 3 - one for each of our sons. This past year we planted 3 new weeping willows down by our pond. Next Spring, I would like to plant 3 maples, a red, a silver, and a bigtooth or maybe 3 pinoaks.
Any way, I do love trees, I love the poem, and I am a big fan of Mary Oliver.

Take care and Hugs, Sunny

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CARRAND 11/27/2011 7:09PM

    I love trees and I love the poem. I have tree images all over my house, and loads of trees in my yard.

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WATERMELLEN 11/27/2011 6:50PM

    Trees: love them. Love to be in their presence. Mourn the loss of the sound of wind in leaves now until May . . . but the sound of wind in pine trees is some consolation! And the new leaf buds I can already see on the red maple branches outside my bedroom window.

Thank you, Maha!

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DOR2BFIT 11/27/2011 6:29PM

    I do so love trees! emoticon

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DAISY443 11/27/2011 6:24PM

    Mary Oliver speaks to my heart. Maha speaks to my heart.

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BLUEBIRDSFLY 11/27/2011 6:19PM

    It would do us good to think about these brothers and is the first time I have ever seen the recognition of trees as part of our family. And they are our family as our very existence is deeply interwoven with theirs. I have always loved trees. I love to look up through their leaves and see the sunlight dancing. I love to see their sculpted forms each exquisitively unique in the winter. I love the rustling of their leaves that sound like soft whispers in the spring and the fall. There are so many reasons to love trees. I love them dearly and happily call them family. Thank you, Maha for posting this blog. emoticon

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