Sunday, 24 July 2011

Does Mozart make you feel free?

I love art. There is something so rejuvenating about lifting your head from the mundane labours of life to watch someone try to show you what heaven looks like to them. I know that isn't the goal of all artists but I think for so many who try to create beauty whatever the medium, what they are really trying to do is remind those around them that heaven is closer than we think and that life can be glorious, magical and so, so beautiful.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Success is counted sweetest - by Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

Monday, 18 July 2011

a good life

I wrote the following in a journal of mine a couple of months ago:

"aprons and open windows
chubby bums, laughter, soap bubbles
the good life"

Sometimes it is that good ladies... it really is. There is, I'm sure, a counter poem lurking within myself as well - too dark to pull out on a lovely summer day like this. But when I have a great day staying home with the boys, I kind of feel like I've earned it. I've been working at being happy as a stay at home mom for over four years now (it's taken me a while to adjust). And even though I still sometimes struggle with this role, I'm getting better y'know - and sometimes it is that good ladies... it really is.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A drop in the bucket

Saw this on a blog this morning and it brought up old questions about world poverty that I used to spend quite a bit of time thinking about. I think giving aid is very complicated and that sometimes offering help without understanding anything about the people you're offering it to can do more harm than good. I also doubt that the solution to cutting world poverty in half is a single number and am less convinced that the answer is totally about money. In a class of mine in university the prof told us about some country (I can't remember which country she was talking about specifically here) that was given aid from the U.S. The aid money was to be used to grow cash crops. The farmers would use the money, grow the product, and then sell it overseas (to the U.S. for a pretty good price.) But the farmers who were all men, took land that was being used by the women to grow food for their family. The men in the end had more money but more often then not, used the money for their own benefit (booze, prostitutes) and left the women and children with even less than what they had before the aid was given because they no longer had access to land to grow food for themselves.

The website says this:
"The Life You Can Save seeks to change...If everyone who can afford to contribute to reducing extreme poverty were to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty, the problem could be solved. It wouldn’t take a huge sacrifice."

I think things have changed and people have gotten smarter about the way they give aid. There are some aid organizations that are very good.(microcredit is one of my favorites) But my own personal view is that world poverty is less about money and more about morality. Rich countries unwilling to live with less and dealing in a cut throat way with poorer countries. Fathers unwilling to commit to their families and do whatever it takes to provide for them. Tyrants who want it all. Corruption in government. People unwilling to forgive, sacrifice and compromise for the greater good. Greed, jealousy, pride and selfishness will always make a world with haves and have nots.
So the solution for me is so much more than just a sum of money. I think acts of giving and helping and trying to sacrifice for the greater good is pretty much the only remedy for this crazy little world we live in. And sometimes that means giving a little bit of your income away to a cause you really believe in.
There was something in the video which really touched me. "What if your daughter was the drop in the bucket? Real lives are saved every single day. People with real names whose families weep with joy to see them still alive."

I think sometimes thinking small is the best way forward - so right now I'm kind of wondering, what small things could I do to help one other person...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

To bee or not to bee, is that the question?


What is this dark hum among the roses?
The bees have gone simple, sipping,
that’s all. What did you expect? Sophistication?
They’re small creatures and they are
filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not
moan in happiness? The little
worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing. I have found them — haven’t you? —
stopped in the very cups of the flowers, their wings
a little tattered — so much flying about, to the hive,
then out into the world, then back, and perhaps dancing,
should the task be to be a scout-sweet, dancing bee.
I think there isn’t anything in this world I don’t
admire. If there is, I don’t know what it is. I
haven’t met it yet. Nor expect to. The bee is small,
and since I wear glasses, so I can see the traffic and
read books, I have to
take them off and bend close to study and
understand what is happening. It’s not hard, it’s in fact
as instructive as anything I have ever studied. Plus, too,
it’s love almost too fierce to endure, the bee
nuzzling like that into the blouse
of the rose. And the fragrance, and the honey, and of course
the sun, the purely pure sun, shining, all the while, over
all of us.

~ Mary Oliver