Watch Out For The Christmas Halimagators!

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Cajun Night Before Christmas is, I think a kind of different, sweet, and special bent on The Night Before Christmas. I love the Cajun accent, everything about Louisiana, and especially New Orleans.

This particular Christmas reading, Tee Jules (Jules A. d’ Hemecourt IV), accompanied by the animation, appealed to that little girl in me.

This time of year, Christmas Eve, allows us the opportunity to rediscover or find that innocent childlike joy and love, that yes does come at Christmas, but it is always ever present, and available to us if we can only look, listen, and hear that still quiet voice in our heart of hearts, and remember.

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Old Faithful Dogs

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Jackson – Photo – Peter Thorne

I admit I’ve mostly been mostly a cat person, but all my whole life, up until a few years back I’ve always had a dog, and loved every one of them very much and they brought my life great happiness..

I think I love dogs and cats equally, but for different reasons. There’s something so meaningful about having a dog from the time they are puppies until old age. The interview I heard today was so good today on the Current, with photographer Peter Thorne , who wrote the book Old Faithful Dogs of a Certain Age.

I will say that I make a parallel connection between older dogs, older people. and with children. We live in a society that purports and pays lip service to caring about both of these demographic groups, but in our throw away disposable society, sadly, this is not  reality as so reflected in the way we treat children and elders so very poorly..

It made me happy to see this book by Peter Thorne.

Do You Communicate With Life?

Communication

The educator and philosopher Paulo Freire said.

“Only through communication can human life hold meaning.”

 

I’ve always found language fascinating and then in my adolescence communication, philosophy and psychology became my strong interests. It’s why I’ve written long hand journals for over thirty years, and why I blog everyday.  I guess you could say it’s a kind of therapy, helps me to work through things, making sense of my world.

This daily discipline combines all three of my passions and helps me immeasurably with my creative process as an artist and really makes me happy and gives me a sense of wholeness. It’s my way of communicating with the life, the universe or with what I would call, the God of my understanding.

One of my fellow bloggers wrote a post today and shared a quote I’d never heard before, by someone I’m not familiar with at all. It really made me stop and think about life and communication. In order to effectively communicate, having an open heart and mind is essential.

And so this quote made so much sense to me as it describes how I want to relate to life.  When I commented on this quote found in my friend’s post, she responded. What’s the point of arguing with life? She said she’d end up with a headache and resentment. That sounded right to me.

Love is not the experience of beauty and romantic joy alone. Love or compassion, the open path, is associated with “what is.” In order to develop love—universal love, cosmic love, whatever you would like to call it—one must accept the whole situation of life as it is, both the light and the dark, the good and the bad. One must open oneself to life, communicate with it. 

~ Chögyam Trungpa

Note:  Chögyam Trungpa was a controversial Buddhist Meditation Master, who followed the Dali Lama. Trungpa was instrumental in starting the Shambhala movement in Nova Scotia.

 

Love As Well As Gifts

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Singer, songwriter, actress and Halifax’s former poet laureate, Tanya Davis, hoped to capture the complex emotions Christmas brings for many families in her poem, Love As Well As Gifts. (CBC)

 

Some people might think this is a depressing poem. I think it’s realistic, honest, truthful, and hopeful..

The poet is Tanya Davis.

Love As Well As Gifts

by Tanya Davis

What if angels were just people having generous days

and the realms of glory were all the worlds corners from which they came

and the night was silent ’cause no one was crying out in loneliness or pain?

What if coming home for christmas meant you never had to run again

and no bombs dropped and there really were good kings

and all ye faithful came together while having faith in different things.

What if the most wonderful day of the year

was ’cause peace on earth was finally here

no matter what or where we sing

This is my resilient daydream

I call it: joy to the world

I have it all year long

while I make my way through the world

I am not that strong

I crumble often from the truth

like the fact that guns and bombs are still lawful things we use

and there’s too much yet there’s not enough food

and still the void we’re aching with – the pain, the love, the wound

Meanwhile empty tables

meanwhile we sing carols preaching morals that we’re scared of

we are wary more of strangers, giving gifts while building walls

It’s a host of contradictions and christmas won’t fix it

I crave connection as I close off to it.

Can you see me?

Do you hear what I hear, it’s the sadness of humanity

it’s the basic human joy

it’s the bonds thereof, it’s the bombs of lost love

once we all have love enough – o holy night

And by the sun’s returning shine I trust we will

in the meantime let us align our hearts with our goodwill

open arms for strangers seeking refuge in our midst

while welcoming our neighbours with love as well as gifts.

Yo! Yo-Yo Ma!

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http://www.cbc.ca/i/caffeine/syndicate/?mediaId=2676104573

When it comes to learning, I think it’s always a good idea to do things a second time, or at least more than once, like read a book, watch a show you enjoy, or listen to a radio program. I always pick up new information that I might have missed the first time round, enriching my experience even more.

Today like most days I thought about happiness. Especially with Christmas fast approaching, and like most folks I reflect on life, love, happiness or unhappiness, and all those feelings that become more intense during this time of year.

This morning I happened upon a re-broadcast about Yo-Yo Ma, who has produced a new work he calls Arc of Life. I listened this time closely to him, talk about life, milestones, and rights of passage we all experience throughout our lives.

I was waiting and hoping Yo-You Ma would say something about happiness. Finally, at the very end of the program he was asked a question regarding advice he might have for  others. He then said some wonderful wise words. This is what he said.

“Stay open. I think when people are afraid, we close up, we close ranks, we go into a shell, we become intolerant. Because we’re trying to be self-protective.

Having friends, trusting people, collaborating, and being empathetic can lead to … the scaffolding to get to hope.  For me, being open and being generous is huge. It actually can lead to happiness, oddly enough. 

Happiness, I think, is a byproduct of — I didn’t say it, Freud said it — work and love … Hey, you suddenly realize, I’m happy.”