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Easter Exultet!

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Glorious Grand Tetons and Wildflowers


Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.
Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
shipwrecks you.
Quit your addiction
to sneer and complain.
Open a lookout.
Dance on a brink.
Run with your wildfire.
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.
Not dawdling.
Not doubting.
Intrepid all the way
Walk toward clarity.
At every crossroad
Be prepared
to bump into wonder.
Only love prevails.
En route to disaster
insist on canticles.
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane.
Nothing perishes;
nothing survives;
everything transforms!
Honeymoon with Big Joy!

~ James Broughton ~
(Sermons of the Big Joy)

The inimitable James Broughton:


Exultet (just in case you have the slightest curiosity):

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 4/13/2012 11:00AM

    I have been behind in your blogs obviously! This was lovely, thank you so much.

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PEACEFULONE 4/9/2012 12:30AM

    Again you dear Maha bring beauty, joy and inspiration to my life!
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Peace, blessings, and love to you!!!
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2WHEELEDSHARON 4/8/2012 6:42PM

    Exultant and lovely!

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JESPAH 4/8/2012 11:44AM

    Oh, how lovely! :)

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JUST_BREATHE08 4/7/2012 10:23PM

    emoticonBeautiful poem from a beautiful Lady!! Happy Easter.

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FRANCESCANAZ 4/7/2012 4:17PM

    Beautiful poem for a beautiful spring day read from a beautiful Spark friend! emoticon

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DDOORN 4/6/2012 10:43PM

    Oh how I needed this one! To transcend fears and worries...blow by them and just let the SPARKS FLY!

Thank you so much for sharing such inspirations, 'Maha!


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SUNNY332 4/6/2012 8:17PM

    Be Blessed today.....

Today is Good Friday !
Someone asks 'Why do we call it good?'
It was the agonizing death of an innocent Man for crimes he did not commit.
We cannot bear to see His suffering on a rough hewn cross.
In the words of Isaiah we agree...
"We hid our faces from Him, He was despised and we did not esteem Him."
Is. 53:3b

But, look again.

The Man who died never did anything wrong.
That was GOOD ...
As the sacrificial Passover Lamb the Man was perfect , without blemish.
That was GOOD
The Man willingly gave His life to save others.
That was GOOD
The Man even as He hung on the cross spoke comforting words to sinners ...
"Father, forgive them... " and ...
"Today you will be with Me in paradise.. "
That was GOOD
His Father in heaven was watching ...
He knew Sunday was coming and it would reveal God's ancient plan.
and He said...
"It is GOOD!"

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SUE_2U 4/6/2012 7:56PM

    Oh I love this one! I used to read it every year. Thank you so much for posting this and reminding me of it. One of my very favorite poems!

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GENKI_WARRIOR 4/6/2012 2:12PM

    Beautiful! So applicable to what needs to be prescribed in life: an overhaul of what's no longer useful; of what holds back and hinders and causes pain and dis-ease, and a launching--full dive--into the unknown with clarity of faith that love will paint a great picture of life (because it does). Thanks for sharing : )

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WATERMELLEN 4/6/2012 12:21PM

    Exultet iam angelica turba caelorum:
exultent divina mysteria:
et pro tanti Regis victoria tuba insonet salutaris.

Happy Easter to you, MAHA! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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K-PO110 4/6/2012 11:56AM

    Quit your addiction
to sneer and complain.

You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.

Thank you, thank you - messages I wish I could gift to everyone everyday.

Have a great weekend Maha, and thank you as always for the inspiration.


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GOANNA2 4/6/2012 11:16AM

    Thanks for sharing. That was beautiful!
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DAISY443 4/6/2012 11:00AM

    "Be prepared to bump into wonder" How often we forget this and miss the wonder!

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Friday, March 30, 2012


Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Why I Wake Early)

I awoke after 7:00am after bedding down late last night...I had a sense of urgency of "I have so much to do today" of "I'm so behind I'll never catch up" and then I opened the door...and stopped dead in my tracks. I looked out and listened to the quiet beauty of nature in the springtime and realized that I, like nature, have this amazing PRESENT to fill with mindfulness, and my sense of quiet desperation diminished and I began looking at how to approach the day in grace and beauty.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIDMYCOCOON 4/4/2012 11:53AM

    I read this and am immediately transformed :) emoticon

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FRANCESCANAZ 4/3/2012 3:13PM

    Don't ever stop sharing amiga!

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GOANNA2 4/2/2012 8:50PM

    Thanks for sharing another beautiful Mary Oliver
poem. Keep on finding the bliss and serenity. emoticon

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CRYSTALJEM 4/1/2012 10:56PM

    Joy, peace and the moment. Thank you.

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BECOMINGONE 4/1/2012 9:06AM

    :-) Glad you found the moment ... hope your studying was productive yesterday.

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2BMYOWN 3/31/2012 11:48PM

    You know, Maha.....every spring time, one of the first things I see are the delicate little wood flowers that come back up beneath the trees, and just looking at them seems to encourage me. It reminds me of new life and renewal, and the possibility of yet another summer after such a drab and cold winter. The shoots are just now coming out on the trees, and the grass is greening up. The frogs are singing, the starlings are back, the killdeer are back, but I haven't heard my nighthawk yet, he is my final sign. I need these things.....I don't know why, but I do. Wishing you lots of renewing sights from this wonderful ol' world of ours. I think we could all stand a little renewal....

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SUNNY332 3/31/2012 10:39AM

    Loving it...

Of course I do - I love Mary Oliver's poetry.

This morning when I was pouring my coffee, I noticed a bush with white flowers at the back of our back field. I never have noticed this before and we have been here 12 years.

Off to get my shoes on and take a little walk with my camera.

Do have a lovedly weekend.


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EARTHSEAME 3/30/2012 11:40PM

    Absolutely, soul-deep beautiful.

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CARRAND 3/30/2012 8:23PM

    Thank you for sharing.

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SUE_2U 3/30/2012 5:57PM

    The world is such a beautiful place, especially to a beautiful soul with an attitude of gratitude. Thank you for sharing.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/30/2012 3:59PM

    Blissful! Keep following the bliss!

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JUST_BREATHE08 3/30/2012 1:15PM

    Thank you so much for this. You have such wisdom and insight. You bring so much to me in your posting of your blogs. With much love...Cindi emoticon

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_RAMONA 3/30/2012 12:31PM


"I looked out and listened to the quiet beauty of nature in the springtime and realized that I, like nature, have this amazing PRESENT to fill with mindfulness, and my sense of quiet desperation diminished and I began looking at how to approach the day in grace and beauty."

...I needed THIS today! THANK YOU, Maha!

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!

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

Comment edited on: 3/30/2012 12:33:31 PM

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SLASALLE 3/30/2012 12:18PM

    Maha, my friend, you have such a way with words. Thank you for giving me a smile, a glimpse at nature while I'm stuck in my office at a desk, and more than anything, the reminder to slow down a bit and take in the beauty that is around you!!

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WILDHONEYPIE1 3/30/2012 12:00PM

    Loved this! Thank you for sharing Maha. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 3/30/2012 11:54AM

    I'm praying for just an iota of your daily grace and wisdom, Maha!

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    You know I love wendy and you!!!! BEAUTIFUL!

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DDOORN 3/30/2012 11:39AM

    Ah...could SO use a "a needle in the haystack of light" these days...too busy, too distracted!

Thx for the reminder to take a deep breath and take in the world that's always been around me!


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SOULFISH80 3/30/2012 11:27AM

    This touched me right where I am today. I awoke an hour earlier than usual, just finished my morning walk and it was glorious. Something is in the air these last few days, making each day seem more beautiful than the last. I don't think I've honored the coming of spring as much as I intend to this season. I feel as if my inner being is matching the season, and springing to life, budding naturally a little more each day. Life is grand, and although it is easy to forget, we are magical creations, living in a mystical earth and we truly must honor our pristine nature, and let it shine. I hope this day is full, and bright in all the ways you deserve.

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BEARGODDESS 3/30/2012 8:57AM

    Very lovely! I've always thought that life is more about the little daily joys than the occasional roller coaster rides.


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DAISY443 3/30/2012 8:39AM

    Maha, I believe you do everything in grace and beauty, even tho you don't always realize it!

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A great woman....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One of our national treasures, poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, died today. She was one of America's foremost public intellectuals.

by Adrienne Rich

In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand
there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see
or the child's older self, a poet,
a woman dreaming when she should be typing
the last report of the day. If this were a map,
she thinks, a map laid down to memorize
because she might be walking it, it shows
ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert
here and there a sign of aquifers
and one possible watering-hole. If this were a map
it would be the map of the last age of her life,
not a map of choices but a map of variations
on the one great choice. It would be the map by which
she could see the end of touristic choices,
of distances blued and purpled by romance,
by which she would recognize that poetry
isn't revolution but a way of knowing
why it must come. If this cheap, mass-produced
wooden stand from the Brooklyn Union Gas Co.,
mass-produced but durable, being here now,
is what it is yet a dream-map
so obdurate, so plain,
she thinks, the material and the dream can join
and that is the poem and that is the late report.
If you would like one more, this was just shared by a former classmate of mine:


There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light--
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.
And this *postscript* from her:

What would it mean to live
in a city whose people were changing
each other's despair into hope? --
You yourself must change it. --
what would it feel like to know
your country was changing? --
You yourself must change it. --
Though your life felt arduous
new and unmapped and strange
What would it mean to stand on the first
page to the end of despair?
RIP Adrienne Rich

Here is today's article from the Los Angeles Times:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 3/29/2012 7:25PM

    Thanks, MAHA.

We are standing on the first
page to the end of despair.

And it means everything. Yeah!!

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KALIGIRL 3/29/2012 8:48AM

    Here's to all of using our gifts...
Namaste my friend.

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CRYSTALJEM 3/29/2012 8:14AM

    Thank you for sharing. Her beautiful words opened my heart this morning.

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    What powerful words...thanks for posting this.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/28/2012 9:45PM

    I didn't know that. Thanks Maha. The world is a better place because of her gifts.

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KRISKECK 3/28/2012 8:52PM

    Thank you. I know of her and appreciate it. Sadness ...

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SUNNY332 3/28/2012 8:21PM

    Beautiful - loved it.

What a passionate writer. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

Hugs, Sunny

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REBCCA 3/28/2012 7:53PM

    Thanks for this lovely post emoticon

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K-PO110 3/28/2012 7:43PM

    Beautiful - thank you for sharing.

A sad loss indeed.

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GIANTPANDA 3/28/2012 7:35PM

    Wow, thank you for sharing these beautiful, powerful poems. I was very saddened to learn that Adrienne Rich has passed away.

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CARRAND 3/28/2012 7:02PM

    Thank you for sharing. Love the poetry.

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    beautiful! saying a prayer for her.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/28/2012 6:24PM

    Thanks for sharing this. It's always sad to lose creative people who've contributed beauty to the world.

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KAT573 3/28/2012 6:20PM

    THANK you for sharing this woman, her poetry and the article. I love your sharings, missed them and am glad to be back! emoticon

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DDOORN 3/28/2012 6:16PM

    So sorry to have been introduced to Ms. Rich upon her death, but always relish the new voices (to me, at least) that you introduce us to, 'Maha.


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And forget about hope.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blogging is not looming in my Spark reality these days...actually, to turn it around, Spark reality is not looming in my mind these days.

Life is getting in my way in a BIG WAY. I'm not navigating it as well as I'd like. But I'll get through this patch (or not, as Horace reminds me), just like I've gotten through all the others. Using strength of will to better care for my body through this is the ideal that always lurks, even when I don't attain it. The resources are there, the knowledge is there, all I need is the strength of will to access them.

This is a difficult time in the history of this country and the world. And I am also grieving the serious challenges a dear friend is facing as I write tears at my heart.

Horace knew all of this, and here is what he admonished to Leucon and to me:

Ode I. 11

Leucon, no one's allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don't ask, don't hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future's no one's affair.

-- Horace

(The Essential Horace, edited and translated by Burton Raffel)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 4/2/2012 8:47PM

    I'm sorry I didn't get to meet up with you.
Good luck in your new adventure. emoticon emoticon
Vasili is doing fine. I leave for home on Friday.

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2BMYOWN 3/31/2012 11:42PM

    I hope you're better now, Maha, and lemme just say I can sure empathize with the less than stellar times. I am working very hard on staying positive myself right now, and I'm sorry that you were struggling when you wrote this blog. Big hugs, sparky friend.

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_RAMONA 3/29/2012 6:40PM

    I'm currently clinging to this (living through a resurgence of health issues):

"You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it!"UNKNOWN

I'm living it with my whole heart and soul... and it gives me peace. I pray the same for you dearest, Maha!

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

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    I somewhat agree with Horace.
Hope is dreaming, living is doing.

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KOMAL53 3/26/2012 1:08PM

    I know what you mean--but one has to find the strength to survive!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 3/26/2012 10:30AM


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SUNNY332 3/25/2012 8:34PM

    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I love what Jeremiah says about Hope. Bless you my friend and hope you are feeling better soon.

Huggers, Sunny

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HIPPICHICK1 3/25/2012 4:45PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DARKTHOR 3/25/2012 2:06PM

    If we have this moment to make our own, we have so much. Let love light the way.

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UNIQDRGNFLY 3/25/2012 12:23PM

    I get what you are saying. People have looked at me like I was crazy whenever I would say, "Don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed."

So, I understand what you are saying. We sometimes take ourselves out of reality by "hoping" for something that is entirely out of our control, nor should we have any control over it. important. Some don't realize that for every positive there is a is not a bed of roses without thorns.

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PUDLECRAZY 3/25/2012 9:32AM

    Sending you love. I am sad about a dear friend as well. It is hard not to be able to 'fix' the transitions our friends, and ourselves, have to go through including the transition from this world.

Sending you love,

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SUE_2U 3/25/2012 5:48AM

    “Dum spiro, spero (Latin), "While I breath, I hope"”

Blessings of health, healing and hope to you and your friend. May all be well.


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EARTHSEAME 3/24/2012 1:45PM


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PEACEFULONE 3/24/2012 8:59AM

    Dear Maha, Sending you light and love and hope. Even on rainy days the sun still shines behind the clouds. Wishing I could blow your clouds away. Peace to you my friend. Elaine
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PENNYAN45 3/24/2012 3:32AM

    I prefer Emily Dickinson's vision of hope. I know you are familiar with it.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

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CRYSTALJEM 3/23/2012 12:14PM

    Sending you emoticon emoticon emoticon

I love the poem, but I am with Watermellen, I will never forget about hope.
In case you didn't get a chance to see my blog the other day

...Howard Zinn, said that pessimism tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we relentlessly imagine the worst possible outcomes, if we concentrate on all the things that are falling apart and going wrong, it cripples our capacity to make constructive changes. "To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic," he wrote. "It gives us the energy to act."


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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/23/2012 12:12PM

    Pema says that when you court hope, you're also courting despair. As you can imagine, that message wouldn't go over well with the community I work with, but my direct team and I use it to remind ourselves that strengthening our presence with whatever the people in our community is going through is our main focus. Of course, Horace is much more eloquent at it!

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WATERMELLEN 3/22/2012 10:42PM

    Forget about hope? No. Surely not. Never.

Sometimes we can summon up only the memory of hope. But in those times, when that's the best we can do, let's do that.

Let's do that.

And if you can't join me in the memory of hope, just now, then I'll sustain that memory of hope for you.

If you can grieve the losses of a friend, then this friend can sustain the memory of hope for you.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/22/2012 8:47PM

    Sending you energy for light and love, along with mental resiliance. Surf the waves of life dear one. Go with the flow.

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JESPAH 3/22/2012 3:46PM

    Cut your vines. Awesome.

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BECOMINGONE 3/22/2012 2:54PM

    oh dear one, focus on the now. You cannot take on the suffering of the world or that of your friends. It is too much for any one person to bear. Hang in there.


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JUST_BREATHE08 3/22/2012 2:50PM

    Beautiful picture... emoticon...Blog!!

emoticon...for sharing.... emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 3/22/2012 1:34PM

    To A Mouse
by Robert Burns

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry Man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave 'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast,
An' weary Winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald.
To thole the Winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

With a wonderful key to the poem here:

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/22/2012 1:21PM

    Reminds me of Robert Burns' "To a Mouse," which I have printed out and stuck on the wall to remind me.

Hang in there.


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DDOORN 3/22/2012 12:40PM

    I've certainly done my share of allowing hope to undercut action in the here & now. It's a tough balance. We need *some* hope, but at the same time action and present-mindedness.

I know you'll get there 'Maha...!

We're with you every step!


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MISS_VIV 3/22/2012 12:19PM

    Yes, we are all under a lot of challenges right now, it doesn't get any better - these are indeed rough times.

I can only pray that we find the unending strength we need to continue to support each other in their needs.

And the joy of being grateful for all that we have.

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SAL2525 3/22/2012 12:18PM

    I love that poem. What a reminder to life in the present. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! emoticon Sal

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/22/2012 11:53AM

    It's a very tough time in so many ways. Hoping you find the strength and comfort you need during your time of challenges.

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/22/2012 11:47AM

    I love the poem and I too could use some more strength! emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 3/22/2012 11:35AM


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The eighth decade...

Saturday, March 03, 2012

My dear friend and SparkBuddy, SANDRA5898, hosted a wonderful coming-together of women to celebrate this rite of passage.

Sandra's invite said: "Maha is turning 70 and she wants you to help mark this milestone in community with others of her dear friends. We will come together to celebrate her life until now and her re-commitment to a long and vital life ahead. We will celebrate Sunday, February 19, starting at 5:00 pm. It will be a potluck. In recognition of Maha, please bring vegetarian offerings. No presents please only your presence and your gift of wisdom. In terms of wisdom, please share with this community of friends a poem, a funny or poignant story, some piece of wisdom for Maha's years ahead, a blessing, a photo or whatever the spirit compels. We will meet at my small, but cozy home. I have lots of floor pillows."

The wondrous song, "She Who Hears the Cries of the World," from _She Carries Me_ by Jennifer Berezan, , greeted each friend as they entered. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I have already gifted it to two dear friends. From the words was extracted the meal offering which we all invoked:

Hail Mother full of grace, power is with thee
Blessed are you, Queen of the universe
and blessed is all of creation
Holy Mother, maker of all things
Be with us now and always
Blessed be

Vivian, aka MISS_VIV, offered the special birthday blessing of introducing me to the music of Jennifer Berezan by sending me two of her CDs.

Goddess only knows what I was saying with such conviction!

Sandra at the cupboard, Jody finishing the salad...ALL from her garden except for the organic strawberries sliced on top!

Fritzie's grand entrance, having driven 4 hrs. to be with us

Six foot tall Judy and Leslie look on as Fritzie dishes up the tasty Vietnamese spring rolls she brought. Later, Judy played a recording of her sister and my beloved friend, Janice, playing the guitar and singing one of her original compositions (a favorite of mine)...what a surprise! The presence of Janice, who lives on Vashon Island, WA, through the gift of her music

This mystical image is of Janice with her guitar, playing at my 68th birthday party at Fritzie's home...and somehow seems just right!

Leslie is obviously saying something very profound (she did a ritual for the occasion later on) as Camille looks on and a partial profile of Johnye

Robin, aka GENKIWARRIOR, and Jody

Sandra is swept away by a segment of Leslie's ritual

Pamela is offering some vision of truth as Johnye, who later shared some of her amazing haiku, smiles beside her

Marilyn, seated, and Bailey. Marilyn read the children's book, _On the Day You Were Born_, by Debra Frasier, an exquisite prose-poem volume, beautifully illustrated, that she read repeatedly to each of her children, including Bailey, when they were young

All eyes on Sharon, while Jean takes it all in

Marilyn making a point

Sharon is delighted and Pamela is reflective listening to Leslie read Rumi

Sandra got a delicious carrot cake from Silvek's European Bakery

On the day of my birth, Feb 23, six of us, including Melissa who had missed the earlier festivities, gathered for dinner at Zaza Fine Salads + Wood Oven Pizza Co. and to go hear Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was wonderful

Melissa with Jody, who scrunched up her face saying, "I'm not ready yet!"

Me and dear friend Robin


Not ANOTHER photo, Sandra!

My friend Jean, though blind, a woman of great vision

Though it needed flash, you can see how Sandra's face is slimming with her weight-loss success! Jean's licking her fingers and I'm chowing down on a slice of pizza

I created a birthday card/gift for each of my friends, which included this poem I wrote for them on Feb 15. It is shaped (when centered -- I tried to do it manually to no avail) like an exclamation point, adding further emphasis to the love I wished to share:


The awe of "Ah!" voiced in unison while watching an exquisite sunset
Dancing like no one is watching as we are shooing the blues away
Whooshing through mud puddles, bikes on a country road
Enjoying good home-brewed cappuccinos on the porch
Moving from misunderstanding to mutual healing
Belly laughs at the movies and sharing treats
Simultaneously thinking the same thought
that the other says -- a thought-dream.
To unite so as to form one mass --
coalescence, community of two
or three. Or even more.
It's joy personified.
That's the idea!
It's Vibrant
It's Juicy
It's Life


by Mahalakshmi
Feb 15, 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 3/24/2012 9:08AM

    What a wonderful collection of friends! It's good to know that you are surrounded by love to shelter you from the storms of life.
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KRISKECK 3/22/2012 1:55PM

    Happy belated birthday! I am so happy to see you are doing well!

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SLASALLE 3/16/2012 5:15PM

    I am so delighted to see all of these pictures. Clearly, I missed an amazing birthday event. I was so sad that I wasn't there (although knew I was making the right decision for reasons that you know), but this makes me feel like I got a piece of it. AND you know I was there in spirit.


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    I just love these photos!!!!!

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DARKTHOR 3/7/2012 8:16PM

    Wow! I feel blessed just getting to see and read about such a special celebration. I'm smiling for you all. Thank you for being you, Maha.


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JUST_BREATHE08 3/6/2012 10:27PM

    I love this blog and all of the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing!!
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SEAJESS 3/5/2012 11:29PM

    Wow, I wish I had friends and family like that! Thanks for sharing the joy.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/5/2012 10:58PM

    What a sweet celebration for a deserving human! In celebration of Maha, yay!

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GIRANIMAL 3/5/2012 2:29PM

    What a lovely birth month filled with blessings to be treasured! So glad, since you deserve it all and more. emoticon

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Blessed be, Maha!

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Comment edited on: 3/5/2012 2:29:34 PM

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HIPPICHICK1 3/5/2012 12:38PM

    Looks like good times!! Happy 70th birthday and many, many more!

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SUNNY332 3/5/2012 9:13AM

    What a GREAT Celebration. Wish I could have been there...

Hugs from me to you, my friend.


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MISS_VIV 3/4/2012 5:10PM

    so very glad everyone enjoyed the music of Jennifer Berezan.. You make me blush and leave me speechless. I so wish I could have been there for the gala.


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ONEKIDSMOM 3/4/2012 4:28PM

    What a great celebration! Thanks for sharing the pictures, Maha... it brought it all to life.

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CRYSTALJEM 3/4/2012 3:24PM

    Absolutely beautiful, in so many ways, just like you. Thank you for sharing.

May you always walk with wonderful companions.

Namaste. CJ

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WATERMELLEN 3/4/2012 2:26PM

    Super blog! Exuberant! What a celebration! You have great friends because you are a great friend.

That eighth decade? We'll all walk each other home.

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JESPAH 3/4/2012 10:29AM

    Energy leaps off the page! :)

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PENNYAN45 3/4/2012 9:50AM

    What could be better on your birthday than friends gathering together with food and fun and love for you!

And the beautiful poem you gave to everyone - is so much like you - and your life, with an appreciation of everything from puddles to belly laughs to community.

May your life continue on as you are: vibrant and juicy.



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FRECKS96 3/3/2012 9:12PM

    Wonderful!!! It looks like a perfect way to celebrate. And I love your poem, thank you for sharing. :)

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_RAMONA 3/3/2012 9:10PM

    How blessed you are! I'm glad your birthday month was so richly filled with love and community.

My gift received form all you shared... "We're all just walking each other home."

I will treasure these words long beyond this moment.

Thank you, Maha!


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COSMIC_ENERGY 3/3/2012 8:15PM

    Oh happy Belated Birthday Goddess Maha! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/3/2012 5:49PM

    Marvelous celebrations!

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GBOOMER 3/3/2012 5:29PM

    What a great gathering! Thanks for sharing about it. I hope to have so many great friends so involved in my life as yours.


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2BMYOWN 3/3/2012 5:10PM

    What absolutely wonderful pictures, Maha, thank you for sharing them with us! You are blessed to have such wonderful and caring friends and may you have many more celebrations together!

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VEEJAY3 3/3/2012 5:01PM

    Am I too late with my offering? A scrap of a Rumi poem on aging that I love:

... the robe of appearance is only a loan.
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

What a beautiful, love-filled party you had, Maha! I enjoyed a desert weekend with nine friends last weekend, and one of the dinner blessings, as we looked around the table at all the great friends gathered together was this sentence by Ram Dass: "We're all just walking each other home."

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BECOMINGONE 3/3/2012 4:52PM

    What a wonderful time we had! Thank you for having a birthday for us to celebrate, Maha!

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TINAT247 3/3/2012 4:44PM

    Hope you have a wonderful year of new discoveries and many, many more blessings!

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DDOORN 3/3/2012 4:04PM

    Ah what a lovely time so obviously had by all! There is nothing like quality time with quality friends!

I'm so happy for you 'Maha! You are well on your way to some mighty fine years ahead!


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