byTuesday, January 13, 2015
After searching for years, I had grown accustomed to feeling her trail turn cold. In dark places, one could often hear her singing, or mumbling about awful things. She appeared in the crowds that swarm to the edges of catastrophe, always in flowing skirts and sandals, and a large black scarf drawn tight around her head and shoulders. Although she could be expected – at murder scenes and train wrecks; suicides and house foreclosures; market collapses and earthquakes – she was ever elusive, bordering on fugitive. I was always curious about her. In thousands of attempts, I never succeeded in snapping a clear picture of her face. As busy as she was, it was no surprise to learn that her school attendance was low, or that the need for her was so great that she survived on fast food and the charity of strangers.
While on a pilgrimage, looking for answers to ‘deep’ questions, I was overcome by a fit of mild confusion. It was then that I felt her presence beside me. She didn’t vanish upon being noticed, but instead took my arm and guided me to a stone bench at the path’s edge. She explained that many people persecute her on sight, which is why she can be aloof and unapproachable. Her sense of self-worth is so valuable to her that she can’t be persuaded to enter into false friendship: if you remain open to her company, she’ll come to you.
Although it was a moonless night and visibility was poor, the instant she removed her scarf I fell in love with her. It was clear from her penetrating eyes that she had witnessed great depths of pain, but I sensed that she carried everything she knew with an immense grace. Her hair was immaculate.Her Generous Light
It is unfortunate that many shrink from the presence of Understanding. What she reveals to us doesn’t anaesthetize our sense of wonder, or close our eyes to further possibilities. Her offering is not a measure of certainty, but of peace. She is a true visionary, leaving all horizons open.
Long conversations are the great passion of her life, and she never takes her eyes off you when you speak. She always makes one feel heard. She doesn’t avoid the uncomfortable or taboo, and will explore any topic at length. She’s not afraid of the dark. She learned long ago that it couldn’t be avoided, so illuminates the world from within. If you’re patient, she will teach the same light to you. Her generosity is her greatest strength.
byThursday, January 1, 2015
The joy of discovering the vast, lonely population which inhabits the mirrors of the world is that we can then enter the freedom of turning towards the beauty within each other.
bySaturday, December 11, 2010Bill Strickland
I think that the one of the most important virtues in life is to value what it is that you undertake for a living. In this talk, Bill Strickland’s vision for education comes across as not only refreshing, but decidely humane. The practical application of dignity to programs that attempt to alter the lives of the impoverished, along with a dedication to use only top grade materials and personnel while doing so is almost unheard of in the social sector. To not only do this, but to emphasise that the experience itself must be beautiful (works of art everywhere one looks, fresh flowers, fountains) is radical.
The take home message here is that the mindset can be applied to any type of field: mode of delivery is choice – so is economy.
byFriday, December 10, 2010Charter For Compassion
Now this, this is inspiring. I think Karen Armstrong’s work is awesome. If you haven’t checked out the charter yet, do so here.
byThursday, December 9, 2010Evelynn Glennie
I love TED talks, and this is in my all time favorite top ten. The wonderful thing about Evelynn Glennie is her passion for percussion, in spite of her deafness. Throughout her talk, Evelynn uses both her deafness and music as metaphors for teaching us new ways of listening, not just to music, but to the world, and to each other.