Sunday, January 17, 2010

Signing Off with Gratitude TTFN

The blogging world is an interesting place to visit. I've been traveling this road for a short while, and I've made many friends. Thank you to the ones who have left encouraging and uplifting comments, which I have greatly appreciated and cherished.
One of the reasons we do different things, or do things differently, is to learn and experience other ways of looking and feeling. As one wise counselor put it, "And all these things shall give thee experience." What we do with the experience is part of the free will we have been given.
I have gained so many insights into myself by blogging, and the education has been valuable.
The one I want to share today is this: When I look at the quality of my life through blogging,
I see that I spend a lot of energy checking the computer several times a day to find out
  • 1. If anyone's blog I follow has changed or been updated
  • 2. If anyone has left a comment on my own blog
Instead of doing the work I need to be doing, which is simplifying, organizing, or creating, I am scattering my energy in other places--the black hole of the computer. So, for now, may I offer my gratitude to you for visiting, and may I extend an invitation to you to check out the other bloggers I have listed in the sidebar. They have made my life happier, more creative, and more contemplative. They also list wonderful links on their blogs to very interesting sites and activities. Most of all, I want to invite you to actively participate and engage with the real live people around you, who need your smile, your support, your presence.
I'm signing off for now, to put my life in order. May you feel a deep connection to humanity, and may you know you ARE love---and loved.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Charles Dickens "Things That Never Die"

I include this poem, not only because it is lovely, but because I think it is both timely and immortal. In this New Decade, I hope we focus on things that never die:
love, kindness, compassion, empathy, equanimity, acceptance, understanding, and service. Add to this list with your own wishes, hopes and dreams. Love to all.

These Things Can Never Die
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

The pure, the bright, the beautiful
That stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry.
The striving after better hopes;
These things can never die.

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A sister in her need,
A kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high.
The sorrow of a contrite heart;
These things shall never die.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love;
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee,
These things can never die.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our Homemade Christmas

This year we decided to get out some UFO's (UnFinished Objects) for gift giving. John started a wooden chest for me several years ago, did most of the work, including the hand carving, but it got put away for any number of reasons, probably work and career, or house maintenance.
So, in the freezing month of December, with a hot cup of green tea, in his elegant workshop (the garage), he began the journey...again.
And he finished well before the last minute. Here is the heirloom on Christmas morn.

John is truly a professional perfectionist. He has rendered every detail with skill and precision, including the best brass hardware. He took the design from his favorite Saturday morning Guru, Roy Underhill, The Woodwright's Shop. When we placed the chest on the fireplace, I realized how much John had crafted for our house. In the photos below, you can see his collection of carved Santas, the Peace on Earth cover for the fireplace grate, but pay particular attention to the mantel itself....YES, designed and built by The Master Woodcarver living here. It is bird's eye maple, and behind the Santas you can get a glimpse of his own design carved there. Hopefully in his retirement, he can find more time for his craft. I do believe there's another boat in him. (Posting about his handcrafted canoes and kayaks will have to come another time.)

Thanks, John, for your thoughtful, beautiful gift which generations will treasure.