Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Last Monday I drove for 250 kms. A beautiful early winter's sunny day.
I drove along pleasant roads with just light traffic in a far more luxurious
car than my childhood memories evoked. The journey was far from
uneventful as I travelled through the unending assault of magnificence
that is the nature of this,my adopted country, Sweden.
This journey began whilst the frost-fingerprints still lay upon the ground,
clothing everything in a mystical hue,hinting at the fine subtlety of nature's
intelligence.Most surely nature knows what she is doing and there is a
rationale of rest and rebirth that underscores all of her methodologies.
It was not long before I settled in to a kind of rhythm. It was like that
half-dreamy awareness that assumes dominance as you listen to some
great symphony or love song. A harmony enters into the consciousness.
The music of these meandering moments was a visual melody as,almost
at each swing in the road,new crescendoes of colour and form fraternised
with my feelings.
Half-toned frost shaded tree groups surrendered to large expanses of
sun-sparkled forests.Lush full autumnal green meadows capitulated to
white crested sunshielded slopes. From one forested area to the next
each forest seemed framed with it's own personality and within each
forest individual trees pronounced themselves with a vocabulary of
uniqueness that even as I travelled could not be ignored. Why was that
tree at that angle? Was that one Silver Birch flirting amongst that group
of Pine trees? The top two or so meters of that tree bent almost at right
angles to it's trunk?
Above me a clear blue sky to the west held that golden brilliance that is
the pivot around which all else functions.It's authority subdued by it's
lessened presence at this time of the year was nevertheless still evident
upon the small cotton-wool stranded clouds that dared to venture into
the western sky. Their timidity underscored by the grey-blue density of
the gathering storm in the eastern sky, creating a counterpoint, a descant
to the melody of the land.
The further I journeyed the more the rhythm and melody of nature rose
in volume within me. The feeling of not wanting this journey to end, of
somehow being adrift on a cloud myself, grew and grew within me.
I reached my destination quite a while before I reached the place to which
I was actually traveling. It was a recognition so powerful as to still remain
palpably present some 24 hours later.
We are surrounded,all the time, everywhere, with blessings of beauty
so enormous,so incalculable in their effect upon our inner self that it is
only whenwe have released the reality of their presence from our grasp
that we are overtaken by the sheer heavenliness of what we have experienced.
As our spirit sighs with the extravagance of all this individualised caress
of creativity we are simply left in wonderment.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
For those of you who have an insatiable appetite for BAD NEWS and a
pessimistic outlook for the human race----read no further.
"If your image of a philanthropist is a stout, gray geezer, then meet Talia Leman, an eighth grader in Iowa who loves soccer and swimming, and whose favorite subject is science. I’m supporting her for president in 2044.
When Talia was 10 years old, she saw television clips of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and decided to help. She galvanized other kids and started a movement to trick-or-treat at Halloween for coins for hurricane victims.
The movement caught the public imagination, Talia made it on the “Today” show, and the campaign raised more than $10 million. With that success behind her, Talia organized a program called RandomKid to help other young social entrepreneurs organize and raise money.
At randomkid.org, young people can link up with others to participate in various philanthropic ventures. On the Web site, Talia has organized a campaign to build a school in rural Cambodia, backed by children in 48 states and 19 countries.
Likewise, she’s working with schools in seven states to provide clean water for rural African villages. She is a frequent guest speaker at other schools, although she acknowledges she’s just a bit intimidated when she visits a high school.
“I’m only in middle school, so I see high schoolers as the big kids,” she said. “When I go to high school to pass out Unicef boxes, I see them as the big, scary ones.”
At a dinner a few days ago in New York, Talia was honored by World of Children, an organization that encourages youth activism and calls its awards the “Nobel Prizes for children.” If kids like Talia can accomplish so much, without credit cards or driving licenses, just imagine what adults could achieve." (source:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/opinion/16kristof.html?hp
and if you want to watch a good film about youthful enthusiasm/innocence/determination in the face of life's trials.....
"Saint Ralph" with Adam Butcher is another superb film from Canada