Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween Everyone, and Happy 50th Birthday Sharon! I'm so excited to go out dancing and partying with all my friends. Chico is such an awesome community!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Freedom and commitment in the same bed?
Monday night I was interviewed on a New York cable TV show, answering
questions about sexual freedom, true partnership and commitment, multiple
relationships, and how to manage jealousy with artfulness and
heartfulness. Afterward, one of the audience members, a divorce lawyer,
remarked how he appreciated my answers, but in the "real world" things didn't
work like that. He's right, of course. In the "real world," people
continue to suffer greatly around relationships, continue to cheat and lie,
continue to be isolated, and continue to get divorced.If you are tired of trying
to live and love in THAT "real world," we have designed these tele-classes full
of the skills,information, resources and support so you can make YOUR world into
the world of love, sex and intimacy you want most.
She is offering a series of teleseminars titled:
Starting a Polyamorous Relationship
Opening Up Your Current Relationship
For more information click here
Georgiana was unhappily married to William Cavandish, the Duke of Devonshire and she gave him 3 children, 2 daughters and 1 son. She also gave birth to a 4th child, another daughter named Eliza from her lover, Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey who later became the prime minister. Georgiana proved to be a great influence who helped further Grey's political career by lending her name and appearances to his cause. Highly intelligent and politically savy, nevertheless it seems that she wasn't above using her beauty and socialite status for the Whig party. Supposedly she traded kisses for votes. The Duke also had another lover, Lady Elizabeth Foster, who was Georgiana's best friend and the three of them lived together in a ménage à trois until Georgiana's death. The Duke then married "Bess" who gave him 2 children. He also had another daughter by former mistress who was born after he married Georgiana.
Good film. In this story the Duke was portrayed as an insensitive asshole (he actually raped Georgiana in this version) who took on another lovers and then seduced her best friend and moved her into the home he shared with Georgiana. Georgiana came to accept this arrangement and in return requested the freedom to openly pursue a relationship with a man she had grown to love. He denied her of course due to his fear of being perceived as a cuckold (as opposed to a wittol who rather than being blind and ignorant towards his wife's infidelties, knows about and tolerates his wife's affairs) and threatened to kill her lover. She pursued the relationship anyway and the drama unfolds.
Sometimes I get bewildered and frustrated by the seeming stupidity of the human race. It makes me sad when I see the potential of love in human relationships as compared with the way people choose to play the gift of these opportunities out. Throughout history we find people who are either stuck in loveless marriages and/or find themselves loving more than one person and rather than opening their hearts to what is and finding a kindhearted and compassionate way to allow this love to enrich their and their partner's lives, they tighten and constrict to the possibilities, throwing love by the wayside, succumbing to fear and status quo and in the end, create much unnecessary suffering.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Unlike the 5 Tyra Banks posts on open marriage below, this one is so funny. Really creative piece. It's 20 minutes and worth the watch.
Monday, October 27, 2008
...I’d say that just based on the situation you’re describing… you’re an
emotional masochist. And that’s not a good thing.That’s not a real psychological
term, of course, and it’s not a BDSM term, either. But you’re engaging in an
unrequited love/lust thing with (someone) who doesn’t return your feelings...And
you’re not even trying to find a woman who might love you back? I call that
emotional masochism, my friend. I will bet you any amount of money that the
describing is not going to end in you being happy and
getting what you want.I think you need to work out whatever is so fascinating to
you about this kind of interaction, or else you’re going to keep doing it over
and over. You’re only 25, so nip this in the bud now and learn how to have real
relationships, because whether you're vanilla or kinky or somewhere in between,
being attracted to unavailability is a recipe for frustration and unhappiness.
You go girlfriend. Well, Matisse isn't really my girlfriend but maybe if we ever met and had the opportunity to hang out together we might become friends. I really appreciate her as a writer and she offers some no nonsense, good advice to her readers. I love this term she uses too, "emotional masochism" and I'll probably continue using it--giving her full credit for coining the term if she chooses to do that. I've been there and I've written about it before too, my attraction to unavailable men. I'm not necessarily over it either but I possess an incredible amount of awareness and insight regarding this wounded part of myself, enough that it doesn't have the power to sabotage my ability to experience happiness and satisfaction in my relationships even if it does take me for a wild ride now and again. OK, I've been on one of those rides for over 4 years now, I'll admit it (and to be fair, it hasn't all been about unavailability.) But thank god I'm a poly girl and I don't do painful relationships exclusively. I also do relationships with available men who give me an abundance of love and the good stuff I'm looking for so I'm doing pretty damn good in my life, even if I still struggle with this "recipe for frustration and unhappiness" a little bit too. My problem here has greatly diminished in size and become more like a lingering addiction to junk food that I've learned to control and only occasionally indulge in while mostly consisting on a diet of whole, organic, real food.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sweet lovin with K.
Sweet lovin with J.
My brother and sister-in-law came to town and we took my mommy out to lunch and then walked around downtown. She is slipping fast. Plus it was quite the chore, getting her in and out of the car and into her wheel chair. I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off again.
My mouth, where my tooth was pulled has been hurting all weekend and I've been popping Vicodin and ibuprofen to keep the pain at bay. Today I figured I probably have an infection so now I'm taking some massive doses of golden seal to combat that.
Last night Jerry, P., and I went to a party with about a dozen of our friends. We had a really good time and of course everyone was into talking politics at dinner. The three of us left early to go see dub-ya, (W.) a biographical film based on George W. Bush produced by Oliver Stone.
Cast of Characters:
Josh Brolin as George W. Bush
Eliazabeth Banks as Laura Bush
Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice
Jame Cromwell as George H.W. Bush
Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney
Scott Glenn as Donal Rumfeld
Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush
Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell
Toby Jones as Karl Rove
So on and so forth.
What a bunch. It was an odd and interesting film. I appreciated that it didn't totally demonize Bush and his clan but rather left me with the thought, "How in the hell did this happen to American?" And, "Oh my God, we (citizens of the United States) along with the world at large, definitely can't take another 4 years of this dangerous ridiculousness. It is just so amazing to me that Bush was elected president. Well, many would say he wasn't elected but rather the election was stolen. The American Dream has become The American Nightmare and we need to wake up from this narcoleptic spell we've been under folks.
People, please vote for Obama for President on November 4th. Please vote No on Proposition 8 (California--it eliminates the rights of same sex couples to marry). Let's stop the hate. McCain/Palin come from the same stock as the people who are in office now. Well, Sarah Palin seems to be something altogether different but she sort of scares me even more.
Anyway, the way the actors portrayed Bush and his cronies was for me, like watching exaggerated caricatures of space aliens. Condoleezza Rice was a freaky sycophant who gave me the creeps. Well, most of them could certainly win creepy and gross prizes. Happy Halloween you bunch of freaks.
I spent most of the day cleaning out my pantry except for a lovely long walk in the park in the afternoon with my sweetie. I'm just loving this Indian Summer weather. Fall is my very most favorite time of year.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
My willingness to let you go.
But nothing is forced and I realize,
that the key is not in,
actually letting go,
but in the willingness to do so.
Still, a conscious releasing comes,
and my grasping of you loosens.
More and more each day,
and I'm left feeling what remains.
The love is just as intense.
Just as compelling.
But there is less attachment.
Why is it you always have
such palpable lessons for me,
even in your absence?
You come to me in my dreams--
again last night.
And it's just the same
as in my waking life.
I have no ability to disengage.
I am your slave,
with every right to say no.
But there is nothing to resist,
so I don't.
The power of your presence,
is a drug that overwhelms,
my ego's puny will.
So I watch myself,
do your bidding.
It's my pleasure.
I watch your drama,
you have over me,
without even trying.
And I know you are
just a guy,
and not that special really.
Except to me and whoever else,
and has fallen to love you.
You are just you being you.
You are what my friend calls,
Thursday, October 23, 2008
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty.
It is compatible neither with obedience, jealousy nor fear.
It is there most pure, perfect, and unlimited when
its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve.
--Percy Byshe Shelley
Before the last U.S. presidential election in 2004, *What Is
Enlightenment?* magazine posed the following query to five religious
leaders: "Many people argue that the upcoming presidential election is the
most important in our lifetime. Do you agree?"
Four of the respondents said, in effect, "Yes, because George Bush is bad
for America and the world."
But the fifth religious leader, Zen Buddhist Jan Chozen Roshi, replied, "I
don't know. Our existence is so short, it's like a dust mote in the eye of
God. To say that the time in which my dust mote existed was the most
important is a self-centered view."
Roshi's wisdom reminded me of an anecdote told by Henry Kissinger, an
American politician who was Secretary of State in the 1970s. Kissinger
once asked Chinese premier Zhou Enlai what he thought of the French
Revolution, which had happened two centuries earlier. "Too soon to tell,"
I always like to keep these ideas in mind, even in times of relative peace
and calm. But I'm especially fond of focusing on the *very* big picture
when divine chaos is whirling around -- like now. It helps keep me humble,
and discourages me from any temptation I might have to believe I know
the Whole Truth about anything, let alone about the mysterious long-term
processes at work in the evolution of the human race.
There's another factor that makes me cautious about getting embroiled in
partisan politics and the narrow-minded hostility that fuels it. One of my
main goals in life is to love everyone with passionate intensity -- no
exceptions. Not just the people I find beautiful and helpful and interesting
and attractive. But also the people I don't like and the people who don't
like me and the people I disagree with and the people who can't or won't
do anything for me.
In order to become the gorgeous genius I aspire to be, in order to fulfill
the unique destiny I came to Earth to embody, I have to hold EVERYONE
in my heart with compassion and empathy. As I contemplate how every
single part of creation is interconnected, I've got to be aware that the
creatures I'm allergic to and inclined to feel alienated from are also part of
the great web of life.
That's my spiritual goal; it's essential to awakening my best self and
cultivating an intimate connection to Spirit. It's also my selfish goal; it's
critical to my physical and mental health. Hatred always sickens me. Love
always invigorates me.
On the other hand:
I was born at a specific moment in history with a unique outlook and a
particular assignment. I can't help but be passionate about the truth as I
And the truth as I see it is that Barack Obama is the best choice for
President of the United States. He is definitely the most pronoiac
That's why I'm voting for him and feel good about saying:
BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT
`âshiq hama sâl mast-o roswâ bâdâ
dêwâna-wo shôrîda-wo shaydâ bâdâ
bâ hoshyârî ghuSSa-yé har chêz khwor-êm
chûn mast shod-êm har che bâdâ bâd
--Rumi's original quatrain in Persian
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absent minded. Someone sober
will worry about things going badly.
Let the lover be.
--Coleman Bark's translation
Let lovers be crazy, disgraceful and wild
Those who fret about such things
Aren't in love.
--Deepak Chopra's translation
Hey, I know she's fairly intense to take at times but actually I think she's pretty funny, encouraging us to laugh at issues that our only other choice is to cry. I've heard some describe her as a despicable human being but think Larry David's Seinfield and Curb Your Enthusiasm--she's a comedian folks. Yes, I know, I've been known to have a very dark sense of humor at times. It works for me. And as grotesque as much of what she puts out there is, there are really people who actually think and behave like this (in real life, rather than on the stage.) This piece here seems appropre in a way that reflects so much of the total stupidity and ignorance we've been seeing in the McCain/Palin campaign.
I've been having tooth pain, for over 3 weeks now. It's been quite awful and my dentist has been totally booked. His office finally called me a few days ago, getting me in for an emergency check up with another dentist who had a cancellation. She spotted the problem immediately. My tooth had a deep crack in it. She promised to do whatever she could to save the tooth but said it looked like it might be cracked to the root so I shouldn't get my hopes up. They set me an appointment to come back in today.
Dammit! Indeed, the tooth was cracked deep into the root and needed to be extracted. She numbed me up and went for it. Only problem was that it hurt like hell. She numbed me some more and it still hurt. She kept giving me more and more injections that didn't work. For 1 1/2 hours she pushed and pulled on that tooth. I had tears running down my face, I was moaning, and I kept inadvertently squirming farther and farther down into my seat. I knew the tooth needed to come out though so I kept my mouth open and never once asked her to stop. The pain was excruciating and my bottom lip was trembling. She kept stopping and asking me if I was alright. "Yes." Does this hurt? "No." Does that hurt? "Yes." Do you want me to stop? "No." She worked on and on but finally couldn't take it anymore and left the room. She came back with my regular dentist who gave me a few more shots. All of a sudden the continuous throbbing I'd been feeling, even when she wasn't yanking on my tooth went away. She went back to work and there was no more pain. Finally, she had the tooth completly extracted 5 minutes later. She apologized and said it was the worst extraction she'd ever been through. I apologized too and we laughed. It was quite the bonding for the two of us although I suspect she'd be happy to never see me again. Overall, I'm just pissed that I've lost a tooth.
I can feel the numbness wearing off as I write this and I think I better go take some ibuprofen...Oh no, it's starting to really throb now and I don't think the 6 ibuprofen are going to do the job...
Well then, that was fancy. I'll spare you the gory details between then and now but it's a couple of hours later now I'm flying high on vicodin. No mo pain.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
No matter how well you might think you know your partner. It’s almost impossible to know what they’ll say when you say, “Honey, I’ve been thinking. And what I’ve been thinking is that I want to sleep with other people.” Seems to me, if you can say that to the person you promised to love, honor and cherish until death do you part, you can say ANYTHING to them. And once you can say anything to them, well, it’s a heck of a lot easier to say anything to other people too.
Here is the Three Cups of Tea website that I encourage you to check out. If you purchase books through this site 7% of the purchase will go toward a girl's education scholarship fund in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pennies for Peace is another website to check out. It is designed to get schoolchildren involved in promoting peace.
You can make a tax-deductible contribution to Central Asia Institute. Available for download on this website is an in-depth publication called Journey of Hope which documents Greg Mortenson's and Central Asia Institute projects.
Three Cups Of Tea
Chapter 10 Building Bridges
In the immensity of these ranges, at the limit of existence where men may visit
but cannot dwell, life has a new importance...but Mountains are not chivalrous;
one forgets their violence. Indifferently they lash those who venture
among them with snow, rock, wind, cold.--George Schaller, Stones of
"Will you marry again?" Mortenson asked.
"Oh, for me this is very easy," Twaha explained. One day I will be nurmadhar and already I have a lot of land. So far I don't love any other woman." He lowered his voice slyly. "But sometimes I...enjoy."
"Can you do that without marrying?" Mortenson said. It was something he'd been curious abut since coming to Korphe, but had never felt confident enough to ask.
"Yes, of course," Twaha siad. "With widows. We have many widows in Korphe."
Chapter 11 Six Days
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in
your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don't you?--Rumi
Tara Bishop poured two glasses of wine and gave Greg Mortenson a first, lingering kiss. Tashi, her Tibetan terrier, ran between their feet, barking wildly at the stranger.
"Welcome to my life," Tara said, pulling back to look Mortenson in the face.
"Welcome to my heart," he said, and wrapped her in his arms.
Chapter 12 Haji Ali's Lesson
It may seem absurd to believe that a "primitive" culture in the Himalaya has
anything to teach our industrialized society. But our search for a future
that works keeps spiraling back to an ancient connection between ourselves and
the earth, an interconnectedness that ancient cultures have never
Haji Ali clapped his hand on Mortenson's shoulder. "No one else has every come here to help my people. I've paid you money every year but you have done nothing for my village. This man is a better Muslim than you. He deserves my devotion more than you do."...After dark, by the light of the fire that smolered in his balti, Haji Ali beckoned Mortenson to sit beside him. He picked up his dogeared, grease-spotted Koran and held it before the flames. "Do you see how beautiful this Koran is?" Haji Ali asked.
"I can't read it," he said. " I can't read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I'll do anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling. I'll pay any price so they have the education they deserve."
Chapter 13 "A Smile Should Be More Than A Memory"
The Waziris are the largest tribe on the frontier, but their state of
civilazation is very low. They are a race or robgbers and murderers, and
the Waziri name is execrated even by the neighboring Mahommedan tribes.
They have been described as being free-born and murderous, hothead and
light-heard, self-respecting but vain. Mahommedans from a settled district
often regard them as utter barbarians.--from the 1911 edition of the
The scruffiest of the smugglers, who smelled as if hashish oil was seeping from his pores, offered Mortenson a mouthpiece of the hookah, which he declined as politely as possible. "I probably should have smoked some just to make friends, but I didn't want to get any more paranoid than I already felt," Mortenson says...
When he opened his eyes he saw two of his abductors squatting on their hells beside his bed and daylight trickling through the slatted window. "Chai," the nearest one said, pouring him a cup of tepid plain green tea.
His second morning in the room, when the guards roused him with tea, he was ready. "El Koran?" he said, miming a man of faith paging through a holy book. The guards understood at once, since Arabic is the language of worship for Muslims the world over...It wasn't unti the afternoon of the third day that an older man, whom Mortenson took to be the village mullah, arrived holding a dusty Koran, covered in green velvet...Mortenson brought the book to his mat on the floor and performed wudu, the ritual washing when water isn't available, before he opened it reverently.
Mortenson bent over the sacred book, pretneding he was reading, quietly peaking the Koranic verses he'd learned uner the eyeless gaze of a dressmaker's dummy in Rawalpindi. The grizzled mullah nodded once, as if satisfied, and left Mortenson alone with the guards. Mortenson thought of Haji Ali, likewise illiterate in Arabic, but tenderly turning the pages of his Koran just the same, and smiled, warming himself over this ember of feeling.
He prayed five times a day when he heard the call form a nearby mosque, worshipping in the Sunni way in this Sunni land, and poring over the Koran. But if his plan was having any effect, he noted no changed in the demearnor of his guards. When he wasn't pretending to read the Koran, Mortenson turned to his Time magazine for comfort.
Chapter 14 Equilibrium
The seeming opposition between life and death is now cut through. do not
thrash or lunge or flee. There is no longer a container or anything to be
contained. All is resolved in dazzling measureless freedom.--from the
Warrior Song of King Gezar
After the midwife left, Mortenson lay in bed, cocooning with his wife and daughter. He placed a multicolred tomar Haji Ali had given him around his daugher's neck...He felt a happiness so expansive it made his eyes swim. It just wasn't possible, he thought, that those eight days in the kerosene-smelling room and this moment, in this cozy upstairs bedroom in a house on a tree-lined street, snug in the embrace of his family, were part of the same world.
..."the smell of putrid flesh was overwhelming," Mortenson says. By the light of an oil lantern, he examined Rhokia, who lay on a blood-slick bed of hay..."Her placenta hadn't come out after the birth and she was in danger of dying from septic shock."
Rhokia's grief-stricken sister held the barely conscious baby girl. The infant, too, was near death, Mortenson realized..."I knew what I had to do," Mortenson says. "But I was very worried abut how Ibrahim would take it." Mortenson pulled the porter aside. Ibrahim was among the most worldly of Korphe's men...But he was still a Balti. Mortenson explained, quietly, that he needed to reach inside Ibrahim's wife and remove the substance that was making her sick...While Ibrahim held a kersosene lantern, Mortenson washed his hands with a kettle of hot water, then reached into Rhokia's uterus and pulled the decomposing placenta out.
The next day, from the roof of the school, Mortenson saw Rhokia up and walking around the village, cooing to the healthy baby girl she carried bundled in a blanket. "I was happy that I'd been able to help Ibrahim's family," Mortenson says. "For a Balti to let a foreign man, an infidel, have that kind of intimate contact with your wife took an incredible leap of faith. I felt humbled by how much they'd come to trust me."
Chapter 15 Mortenson In Motion
Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into
"This mullah is not about Islam!" Parvi bellowed. "he is a crook concerned with money! He has no business pronouncing a fatwa!
Greg Mortenson felt that his life was speeding up. He had a house, a dog, a mily, and before he'd left, he and Tara had discussed having more children. He'd built one school, been threatened by an enraged mullah, assembled an American board and a scruffy Pakistani staff. He had fifty thousand dollars of CAI's money in his rucksack and more in the bank. The neglect and suffering northern Pakistan's children endured towered as high as the mountains encircling Skardu. With the fatwa dangling over his head like a scimitar, who knew how long he would be allowed to work in Pakistan? Now was the time to act with all the energy he could summon.
Chapter 16 Red Velvet Box
No human, or any living thing, survives long under the eternal sky. The
most beautiful women, the most leaarned men, even Mohammed, who heard Allah's
own voice, all did wither and die. All is temporary. The sky
outlives everything. Even suffering.--Bowa Johar, Balti poet, and
grandfather of Mouzafer Ali
While the Supreme council had pondered Mortenson's case, they had dispatched spies to inquire into the affairs of the American working at the heart of Shia Pakistan, Parvi says. "From many, many schools, I began to get reports that strange men had visited, asking about each school's curriculum. Did the schools recruit for Christianity or promote Western-style licentiousness?..."Finally, an Iranian mullah visited me..."have you ever seen this infidel drink alcohol, or try to seduce Muslim ladies?" I told him truthfully that I had never seen Dr. Greg take a drink and that he was a married man, who respected his wife and children and would never Eve-tease any Balti girls.
Inside stood the eight imposing black-turbaned members of the council of Mullahs. From the severity with which Syed Mohammed Abbas Risvi greeted him, Mortenson presumed the worst...With due ceremony, Syed Abbas tilted back the lid of the box, withdrew a scroll of parchment wrapped in red ribbon, unfurled it, and revealed Mortenson's future. "Dear Compassionate of the Poor," he translated from the elegant Farsi calligraphy, "our Holy Koran tells us all children should receive education, including our daughters and sisters. your noble work follows the highest principles of Islam, to tend to the poor and sick. In the Holy Koran there is no law to prohibit an infidel from providing assistance to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Therefore," the decree concluded, "we direct all clerics in Pakistan to not interfre with your noble intentions. You have our permission, blessings, and prayers."
"I don't want to teach Pakistan's children to think like Americans," Mortenson says. "I just want them to have a balanced, nonextremist education. That idea is at the very center of what we do."
Chapter 17 Cherry Trees in the Sand
The most dangerous place in the world today, I think you could argue, is the
Indian Subcontinent and the Line of Control in Kashmir.--President Bill clinton,
before leaving Washington on a diplomatic visit to, and peacemaking mission
between, India and Pakistan
Halfway down the hallway to his room, a skinny read-haired apparition with bulging blue eyes burst out the swinging kitchen door and clutched Mortenson's sleeve. Agha Ahmed, the Indus Hotel's unbalanced kitchen boy and baggage hauler, had been watching the lobby through the door's slats. "Doctor Greek!" he shouted in waring, loud enough for the entire hotel to hear, a bubble of saliva forming, as always, at the corner of his mouth. "Taliban!" "I know," Mortenson said, smiling, and shuffled down the hall toward sleep.
The refugees had been shunted to the only land in Skardu no one wanted. Their encampment in the middle of the dunes had no natural water source, and they were more than an hour's walk away from the Indus River...
The first uplife water scheme in the history of northern Pakistan took eight weeks to build...now the men of Brolmo could start building mud-block houses and transforming the desert wastes into a green new home for their families...
And shading these homes, where the unrelenting dunes once stood, cherry trees, nurtured by an uplift water scheme, grow thick and green and lush, blooming out of the sand as improbably as the students who walk home after school beneath their boughs, the girls of the Gultori.
Chaper 18 Shrouded Figure
Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God
does not change. Patience achieves everything.--Mother Teresa
By 7:30 Mortenson was still staring at a sea of empty chairs...Two sales people in green vests, having completed their inventory, took seats in the last row. "What should I do?" Mortenson said. "Should I still give my talk?"
"It's about climbing K2, right?" said a young, bearded employee, whose blond dreadlocks, stuffed up into a silver wool hat, made his head look like a cooked package of Jiffy Pop Popcorn.
"Sort of," Mortenson said.
"Sweet, Dude," Jiffy Pop said. "Go for it!"
...Mortenson noticed a professorial-looking middle-aged male customer leaning around a corner, trying to unobtrusively study a display of multifuction digital watches. Mortenson paused to smile at him, and the man took a seat, letting his eyes rest on the screen...Mortenson wrapped up the evening by paraphrasing one of his fathvorite quotations from Mother Teresa. "What we are trying to do may be just a drop in the ocean," Mortenson said, smiling warmly at his audience of three. "But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."...Mortenson appreciated the applause, even from six hands, almost as much as he was relieved to be done speaking...The bearded boy with the dreadlocks fished into his front pocket and handed Mortenson a ten-dollar bill. "I was going to go out for a couple beers afer work," he said, shuffling form foot to foot, "but, you know..."On the seat of the last chair in the last row, next to the display of digital watches, Mortenson found an envelope torn form the back of the CAI newsletter. Inside was a personal check for twenty thousand dollars.
"In times of war, you often hear leaders--Christian, Jewish, and Muslim--saying, 'God is on our side.' But that isn't true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans."
Chapter 19 A Village Called New York
The time of arithmetic and poetry is past. Nowadays, my brothers, take
your lesson from the Kalshnikov and rocket-propelled grenade.--Graffiti
spray-painted on the courtyard wall of the Korphe School
"What is that?" Mortenson said. "What are we looking at?"
"A madrassa, Greg Sahib," Apo said..."Wahhabi madrassa is like a..."Apo trailed, off, searching for the English word. He settled for producing a buzzing sound.
"Bee?" Mortenson asked.
"Yes, like the bee house. Wahhabi madrassa have many students hidden inside."
Wahhabism is a conservative, fundamentalist offshoot of Sunni Islam and the official state religioun of Saudi Arabia's rulers.
In December 2000, the Saudi publication Ain-Al-Yaqeen reported that one of the four major Wahhabi proselytizing organizations, the Al Haramain Foundation, had built "1,100 mosques, schools, and Islamic centers," in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, and employed three thousand paid proselytizer's in the previous years...our resources were peanuts compared to the Wahhabi. Every time I visited to check on one of our projects, it seemed ten Wahhabi madrassas had popped up nearby overnight."...I don't want to give the impression that all Wahhabi are bad," Mortenson says. "many of their schools and mosques are doing good work to help Pakistan's poor. But some of them seem to exist only to teach militant jihad."...Lahor-based journalist Ahmed Rashid, perhaps the world's leading authority on the link between madrassa education and the rise of extremist Islam, estimates that more than eighty thousand of these young madrassa students became Taliban recruits...Rashid recounts his experience among the Wahhabi madrassas of Peshawar in the bestselling book Taliban. The students spend their days studying "the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and the basics of Islamic law as interpreted by their barely literate teachers," he writes. "Neither teachers nor students had any formal grounding in maths, science, history or geography."
That morning, Mortenson was shaken awake..."Dr. Sahib! Dr. Sahib! Big problem," Baig said. "Up! Up!"... "Uzum Mofsar," he said after a long moment of locking eyes with Mortenson. "I'm sorry."
"Why?" Mortenson asked. He saw warily that his bodyguard, whose bulk had always been enought toward off any conceivable danger, had an AK-47 in his hands.
"A village called New York has been bombed."
Chapter 20 Tea With The Taliban
Nuke 'Em All--Let Allah Sort Them Out.--Bumper sticker seen on cab window of
Ford-F150 pickup truck in Bozeman, Montana
Days afater the terror attacks on New York and Washinton, the two countries other than Pakistan that had maintained diplomatic relations with the Taliban, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut them off. With Afganistan now closed, Pakistan was the only place the Taliban could make their case to the world.
...Mortenson gave interview after interview to reporters who rarely ranged beyond the Marriot and the Taliban Embassy for their material..."I tried to talk about root causes of the conflict--lack of education in Pakistan, and the rise of the Wahhabi madrassas, and how that led to problems like terrorism," Mortenson says. "But that stuff hardly ever made it into print. They only wanted sound bites about the top Taliban leaders so they could turn them into villains in the run-up to war."
"The only way we can defeat errorism is if people in this country where terrorists exist learn to respect and love Americans," Mortenson concluded, "and if we can respect and love these people here. What's the difference between them becoming a productive local citizen or a terrorist? I think the key is education."
He began with William Butler Yeats's "The Second Coming."
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold, Mere anarch is loosed upon the world,/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity."
Chapter 21 Rumsfeld's Shoes
Today in Kabul, clean-shaven men rubbed their faces. An old man with a
newly-rrimmed grey beard danced in the street holding a small tape recorder
blaring music to his ear. The Taliban--who had banned music and ordered
men to wear beards--were gone.--Kathy Gannon, November 13, 2001, reporting for
the Associated Press
And at first, Mortenson had supported the war in Afghanistan. But as he read accounts of increasing civilian casualties, and heard details during phone calls to his staff in the Afghan refugee camps about the numbers of children who were being killed when they mistakenly picked up the bright yellow pods of unexploded cluster bombs, which closely resembled the yellow military food pactets American planes were also dropping as a humanitarian gesture, his attitude began to change.
Abdullah introduced Mortenson to his Pathan friend Hashmatullah, a handsome young fixer who'd been a Taliban soldier, until his wounds made him a liability in the field. "Like a lot of Taliban, Hash as he told me to call him, was a jihadi in theory only," Mortenson explains. "He was a smart guy who would much rather have worked as a telecommunications technician than a Taliban fighter, if a job like that had been avialable. But the Taliban offered him three hundred dollars when he graduated from his madrassa to join them. So he gave the money to his mother in Khost and reported for weapons training...But Hash was ecstatic to be free of the Taliban's rigid restrictions and had shaved off the beard he'd been obliged to grow. And after Mortenson dressed his wounds and treated him with a course of antibiotices, he was ready to swear allegiance to the only American he'd ever met.
Chapter 22 "The Enemy Is Ignorance"
As the U.S. confronts Saddam Hussein's regine in Iraq, Greg Mortenson, 45, is
quietly waging his own campaign against Islamic fundamentalist, who often
recruit members through religious schools called madrassas. Mortenson's
approach hinges on the simple idea: that by building secular schools and
helping to promote education--particularly for girls--in the world's most
volatile war zone, support for the Taliban and other extremist sects eventually
will dry up.--Kevin Fedarko, Parade cover story, April 6, 2003
I don't want to be just a health worker. I want to be such a woman that I can start a hospital and be an executive, and look over all the health problems of all the women in the Braldu...Jahan said, twirling the hem of her maroon silk headscarf around her finger as she peered out the window,..."I want to be a...'Superlady,'" she said, grinning defiantly, daring anyone, any man, to tell her she couldn't.
Chapter 23 Stones Into Schools
Our earth is wounded. Her oceans and lakes are sick; her rivers are like
running sore; The air is filled with subtle poisons. And the oily smoke of
countless hellish fires blackens the sun. men and women, scattered from
homeland, family, friend, wander desolate and uncertain, scorched by a toxic
sun....In this desert of frightend, blind uncertainty, some take refuge in the
pursuit of power. Some become manipulators of illusion and deceit.
If wisdom and harmony still dwell in this world, as other than a dream lost in
an unopened book, they are hidden in our heartbeat. And it is from our
hearts that we cry out. We cry out and our voices are the single voice of
this wounded earth. Our cries are a great wind across the earth.--From The
Warrior song of King Gezar
"I can understand shooting men and bombing buildings. In a time of war these things happen, as they always have. But why?" Mohammed said, putting his question not to Mortenson, but letting the unanswerable lament hang in the air between them. "Why did the Taliban have to kill our land?"
When your heart speaks, take good notes.--Judith Campbell
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
In the process of picking out his wig I found the inspiration for my own witch persona and costume. It was a black vinyl witch's hat in full BDSM fashion, silver chains and all. Looking at the hat, which I ended up purchasing, it came to me--I'm going as a switch. Makes total sense since I actually have very switchy tendencies, enjoying both sides of dominance/submission sexual play depending on my mood. I also found some cool black fishnet thigh highs with vinyl lacing at the top. And I already have both a cat o' nine tails and a leash and collar.
Halloween, Samhain, and Day of the Dead, as with Burningman has always been a time for me to dress up and enter into the role of one of my alternate or shadow personalities. My theory and a big part of my spiritual practice is to bring my shadow self into the light. Our shadows offer us a significant piece of the truth of self that must be allowed and integrated into our out front personality--the part of us that we prefer to present to others most of the time. Mindfulness of the shadow is an important part of emotional maturity, mental equilibrium and spiritual growth.
"The visit with my Mom is going fine. Guess what? She is just as obsessed as I
am with the election. Must be something genetic, huh? We're talking about it
incessantly, and we pretty much agree on everything. My sweet little
Southern-lady, deeply-Catholic mother absolutely foams at the mouth when she
talks about Bush and Cheney. She loathes them. And like me, she's also
disappointed in McCain and enraged by Palin. She's already cast her vote for Obama."
I watched this on television last night and figured I might be able to find it on You Tube. Success-- I've posted it below. It's an interview with the Dianne M. Keller, current mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. The interviewer asks her, "Do you think being a small town mayor prepares you to be vice president of the United States?" She answers, "An unequivocal yes!" Politely dumbfounded he asks her to explain, "How?" She then proceeds to mimic Sarah Palin's utter ignorance. This seems funny and makes us laugh-- because otherwise we would cry. I'm frankly embarrassed for these poor people, Sarah Palin included.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Anyway, I clicked on the link to her daughter's blog and I read some of the posts and enjoyed the pictures. What's really interesting to me is how close this family seems to be. The kids are all grown and yet they are doing some extensive family traveling together. And they all seem to be very devout Krsna devotees--many of the pictures on the blog made that obvious, down to the ones of the family sitting together with japa bags hanging from their wrists as they complete their daily prayers. The kids are all embracing this lifestyle and it seems to really work for them. They all look very happy and seem reasonably contended with their lives. When they aren't traveling they live in the country, on an orchard, and are very hard working farmers living a fairly austere and religious lifestyle.
I don't know why I'm so struck by all of this right now but I am. I guess it's just that some people don't seem to change much. I mean, life moves on of course... the kids have grown up and my friend and her husband are older. But otherwise so much seems exactly the same. It's so strikingly different than the course I've chosen for my own life, or the path my children have taken. The father of my four middle children is still a Hare Krsna devotee too, immersed in the lifestyle, obviously for life (or so it seems) but none of my children have taken that route and I'm just pondering on this, the different choices we make that I'm supposing are related to our life's purpose.
I'm reminded of some other old Hare Krsna friends that Jerry and I visited several years back. This woman and her husband were very good friends of mine. She and I shared alot, throughout the ten years of our devotee lives together. Before I moved on. At one point we lived together out in the wilderness with some other folks on some land with gardens and goats where we were hoping to establish a spiritual community. We attended each other's home births and nursed one another's babies. When we weren't living in close proximity to each other we visited frequently even when there were hundreds of miles between us. When my spiritually evolved beyond being a Hare Krsna devotee we parted ways, simply losing track of one another over time.
Then, on a trip home, driving north through southern California after a visit to Sin City (Las Vegas), I thought of these old friends, remembering that they had bought some land and had been living in a community up in the mountains, not far from where we were passing through. I called information, got their phone number and shortly we were on our way for a visit. It had been 17 years since I'd seen them last and I was in for an incredible surprise.
They say that everything changes but it just ain't so. As we sat in their living room I was transported back 25 plus years earlier. Their home was exactly the same. Most devotees (at least the ones I knew back in the day) live very austere lives. The atmosphere of their homes are very simple with no furniture except a book shelf for books written (translated) by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with a few others on gardening or other practical life skills. In the kitchen, all the cookware and eating utensils are stainless steel and the walls throughout the home are mostly bare, decorated only with a few pictures of Krsna. Religious chants called kirtans are usually playing from a boom box and maybe some incense will be burning on the altar. Deja vue. Not only that, there was a passel of super cute devotee children running all over place and they looked just the same as our little ones did when they were growing up together except the youngest of these were my friends grandchildren rather than their children. Their grown children were around too with their prayer bags covering their hands as they chanted japa. As we drove off after a pleasant visit, I felt like I was driving out of the twilight zone. I could even hear that music playing. (click on You Tube post above)
Wow. I realize that my tendency is to think that as time passes, most people change, just like I have, in a way that is as profound and strikingly obvious as mine but ya know, that just isn't always the case.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
...Marriage as we know it is changing. Conservatives would say it’s under attack, under fire. I say it’s just under construction. And hopefully, this fall on Election Day, we can also say it’s under new management. Queer people are at the forefront of the movement to re-define marriage right now, and unfortunately—with typical divide-and-conquer tactics—the Right Wing has pitted queers and polyfolk against one another. Conservative Stanley Kurtz said “Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and ‘polyamory.’ Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female.” As if that is a bad thing? Celebrating more love and more commitments between consenting adults?...Click here for the whole speech.
We need to listen to each other and learn from each other. The polyamory movement can learn a lot from the GLBT movement. The poly community must strive to be an INCLUSIVE community. We cannot turn our backs on poly swingers or solo polyamorists or that one really slutty poly friend we all have. We cannot shrug off monogamous folks who want to be our allies. We need to embrace all those people around us who are challenging monogamy in some way and who believe in the rights of people to protect their relationships, whatever form they take. And we need to find a way to change the climate in this country, by creating community to foster a larger awareness and understanding of multi-love relationships...
...Our society is poised to change dramatically in the next decade. Like other minorities before us, polyamorous people need to come out when it’s safe to do so and educate our loved ones, our neighbors, our doctors and others around us about our lives. We need to tell our stories. I’ve had the privilege to hear the stories of hundreds of people in non-monogamous relationships...We must speak our truths. If we don’t tell the world who we are, people are left to imagine, to fall back on stereotypes, to create fictions which don’t represent us...
...Larry and Joan Constantine took a leap of faith thirty five years ago and started knocking on doors to find others like them. We need to take a cue from them and start busting down some doors of our own. If we join together, support each other, and increase our visibility, we can only get stronger. And we need our strength because WE are at the forefront of those who will redefine love, commitment, and family in this century...
Friday, October 17, 2008
I'm heading home tomorrow morning. It's been a short, but very sweet visit. And it will be so good to see my sweetie, actually, my sweeties, when I get back. I'm one lucky girl. I also have a nice little party to go to tomorrow night.
Today is my friend Donna's birthday. She and my other friend T., are having a birthday dinner celebration tonight which I'm missing. Happy Birthday Donna and T! Also, my youngest daughter turns 28 tomorrow. Happy Birthday sweetheart. My eldest will be 37 years old this year and my youngest 22. Wow!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
For some reason the Republican Fantasy link won't take. You can go to Mistress Matisse's site and click the link to there from today's post.
D. is doing well. He looks good and is up and about taking lots of walks and all. Of course he's moving slower and taking it pretty easy but hey, only 3 weeks after open heart surgery-- it's pretty amazing. It's good to be here with him and R. They're my family. Except that R. is giving me a hard time right now because she hates me using her computer. Selfish bitch. Don't worry, that's the way we always talk to each other and I know she'll be reading this so it's not like I'm talking behind her back. Besides, just wait until I get her into a game of canasta. We call it playing nasty, if you catch the drift.
Last night was a quick, easy and cheap flight into Burbank. Of course Jerry had to drive me to the Sacramento airport, love that he is, always so willing to take care of me in anyway he can. He'll drive back and pick me up on Saturday too. Anyway, I decided to fly into Burbank and rent a car to drive to Santa Barbara. It was less than a one hour flight and I was in my rental car and on my way to Santa Barbara in no time. Except that I couldn't find my way out of the fucking airport. Hollywood Way was supposed to be right in front the airport with easy signs to the freeway but no matter where I turned I couldn't find it. I kept circling around and around and it was nuts. Finally, 45 minutes later I found a policeman who had me follow him and once I was actually on Hollywood Way it was very easy to get to Santa Barbara and to D. and R.'s house.
I cried half the way here. I have been emotional about some stuff in my life and that was just enough to break the dam. Earlier in the day I knew I needed a good cry but I was too busy to get into feeling my stuff. It was a great cry. Lovely in fact. And so good to see my loves. They are my family and it felt like arriving home.
After D. and R. went to bed I stayed up late reading my book Three Cups of Tea and I was just feeling so happy and comforted. My life is really so sweet and I have so many opportunities to be in relationship and share love. I am so blessed and it feels great to acknowledge how very fortunate I truly am.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
But the foreign delicacies Changazi savored most had names like Hildegund and
Isabella. Despite the fact that the man had a wife and five children stashed at
his home in distant Pindi and a second wife tucked away in a rentd house near
the superintendent of police's office in Skardu, Changazi had spent the tourist
season tucking into a smorgasbord of the female tourists and trekkers who were
arriving in Skardu in ever greater numbers.
Changazi told Mortenson how
he squared is dalliances with his devotion to Islam. Heading to his mosque soon
after another Inge or Aiko wandered into his sights, Changazi petitioned his
mullah for permission to make a muthaa, or temporary marriage. The custom was
still common in parts of Shiite Pakistan, for married men who might face
intervals without the comfort of their wives, fighting in distant wars, or
traveling on an extended trip. But Changazi had been granted a handful of muthaa
already since the climbing season began in May. Better to sanctify the union,
however short-lived, in Allah's sight, Changazi cheerfully explained to
Morenson, than simply to have sex.
Mortenson asked if Balti women whose
husbands were away could also be granted muthaa.
"No, of course not,"
Changazi said, waggling his head at the naivete of Motenson's question, before
offering him a biscotti to dunk in his tea.
Lou Reichardt knew something about suffering for and reaching difficult
goals. His acknowledgment of how tough a path Mortenson was trying to walk
made Mortenson feel that he hadn't failed. He just hadn't completed the
And it stuck me so intensely. I was feeling a little sad this morning reflecting on my purpose in life, my calling, where I've come from and where it's taken me. I was contemplating my accomplishments or more truthfully, my failures. And ya know what? I know something about suffering for and reaching difficult goals. And it would really be in my best interest to acknowledge myself about just how tough this path I'm trying to walk is sometimes. It's a good path I've chosen for myself. It's steep and long and I haven't failed. I just haven't completed the climb.
Chapter 1 Failure
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.--Persian proverb
Chapter 2 The Wrong Side Of The River
Why ponder thus the future to foresee,
and jade they brain to vain perplexity?
Cast off thy care, leave Allah's plans to him--
He formed them all without consulting thee.
Omar Khayyam, The Rubaiyat
Chapter 3 "Progress and Perfection"
Tell us, if there were one thing we could do for your village, what would it be? "With all respect, Sahib, you have little to teach us in strength and toughness. And we don't envy you your restless spirits. Perhaps we are happier than you? But we would like our children to go to school. Of all the things you have, learning is the one we most desire for our children."
--conversation between Sir Edmund Hillary and Urkien Sherpa,
from Schoolhouse in the Clouds
Chapter 4 Self-Storage
Greatness is always built on this foundation: the ability to appear, speak and act, as the most common man.
--Sham-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
Chapter 5 580 Letters, One Check
Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart. Never give up, never lose hope. Allah says, "The broken ones are my beloved." Crush your heart. Be broken.
--Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir,aka Nobody, Son of Nobody
Chapter 6 Rawalpindi's Rooftops At Dusk
Prayer is better than sleep--from the hazzan, or call to worship
Chapter 7 Hard Way Home
This harsh and splendid land with snow-covered rock mountains, cold-crystal streams, deep forests of cypress, juniper and ash is as much my body as what you see before you here. I cannot be separated from this or from you. Our many hearts have only a single beat.
--from The Warrior Song of King Gezar
Chapter 8 Beaten By The Braldu
Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.
--hand-lettered sign at the entrance to the Fifth Squadron airbase, Skardu
Chapter 9 The People Have Spoken
All my fellow, why license is not deposed on the beautiful eyes of a beautiful lady? They fire at men like a bullet. They cut as surely as the sword.
--graffiti spray-painted on the world's oldest known Buddhist stone-carving,
in Satpara Valley, Baltistan
Fourteen more chapters to come. Good book.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Tell Me What Love Is.
Tell Me What Marriage Is.
Tell Me What Another Is.
Tell Me What Sex Is.
Tell Me Something You Want Me To Know.
When your chest is free of your limiting ego,
You can not see yourself without a mirror;
Look at the Beloved, He is the brightest mirror.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Cancer (June 21-July 22)Use your insecurities in your own favor. You have a few, and they may be stirring you up emotionally. But you also have a depth of commitment to your creative, sexual and spiritual needs, and you're in an unusually honest state about just what those are. Keep telling yourself the truth. Admit what you want every day; go for the feeling of confessing your deepest sentiments to yourself, and every day do one thing devoted to fulfilling them.
Yes, of course I have some insecurities. I'm human. And I've been getting more and more honest about them over the years. It's been way easier to do since I've learned to drop my judgments. So yes, I definitely have my issues even though I consider myself a fairly emotionally mature and stable person. I've done a lot of work on myself over the years and I have learned the power of living in the moment and accepting life as it presents itself to me. I appreciate my ability to take responsibility for myself and allow others to be who they are, respecting their right to make the choices they make. I still go a little nuts now and again, reacting to stress in childish and ego absorbed ways but all in all I think I cope pretty well with my life most of the time.
So as I contemplate this little tidbit of wisdom and advice about using the insecurities that stir me up emotionally, this is what arises for me--
I have an insecurity of sorts that many women share that stems from something that has happened to me more than once. The scenario goes something, but not necessarily exactly, like this. I go on a date with a guy friend, we have sex, spent the night together and then part ways in the morning. After that, the time that lapses before he contacts me again is way too long. Many of my girlfriends have had experiences like this also. When you have this stunt pulled on you when you are young and insecure about your sexuality it can serve to bring up all sorts of insecurities. I've had this happen with adult men.
Now I'm willing to take on full responsibility for this insecurity although insecurity might not be the best word to describe what happens for me. Insecurity is part of it indeed. Insecurity as to me thinking, who is this man I'm getting involved with here? Part of me thinks I'm just having a healthy reaction of annoyance to what I deem as neglect on the part of the man. Because here's what I think is significant for men to understand. When a woman shares sexual energy with you, be it kissing, fucking, or what have you, she wants, and should be (if you want to stay in her good graces) acknowledged for the gift she has given you. And I'm talking about after the fact--but not too long after. It's all in the timing here. Anything less is simply not nice. How did some of these guys miss out on this in their sexual etiquette training anyway? So listen up boyfriends: You've just received a kindhearted gift from the goddess. Shewhobehot has opened herself to you. You've received her grace. Don't disappear and not contact her for days, weeks, months... Phone, email, text, chat or show up in person, no later than the very next day, letting her know that you appreciated the time the two of you spent together. How do you let her know you are appreciative? Well, you say it something like this. "I really appreciate the time we spent together yesterday. Thanks for sharing yourself with me." Very simple. If you want to get fancy, go for it. But simple works just fine. If in the morning light you realize that you don't want to go there with her again, well then say something like "Thank you for sharing yourself with me yesterday" and leave it at that. If your message needs greater explanation either in the moment or at a later date you can then let her know that you are choosing to not share with her in that manner again.
Now I know this may seem a bit sexist to some. And of course a woman is always free to contact the man in this same way. I certainly have and I do. But I'm just saying. I'm just saying because I've been encouraged by my weekly reading to do something that's devoted to confessing and fulfilling my deepest sentiments, and this is one simple little thing that I want that's related to my sexual needs. And I bet it's something that most women want. Also, blogging is one of my creative outlets and it's given me something to write about. I'll also make the point that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is related to my spiritual journey so I've just fed the three birds of my creative, sexual and spiritual needs, with one seed.
This refrain keeps coming to mind that I learned many years ago from a group of smart and sexy, 30/40 year old, polyamorous men who had a whole slew of smart and sexy women by their sides.
"Keep the pussy happy."
Last night we walked downtown to a local bar, Lost On Main, where Chikoko, a women's textile design group comprised of five highly creative and talented local artists, held another of their unique and provocative fashion shows.
I'm in the midst of reading Three Cups Of Tea, written by David Oliver Relin who tells the story of Greg Mortenson, a former mountaineer and military veteran, whose mission is promoting peace by building schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
At this point in the story, Mortenson has somehow managed to survive the elements after spending the night alone, exposed to the freezing cold after getting lost on an expedition in northern Pakistan's Karakoram after a failed attempt to reach the summit of K2, the world's second highest mountain.
I've learned that the Balti Sherpas that inhabit these mountains were originally from Tibet but migrated over the rocky passes in Pakistan about 600 years ago. They left Tibetan Buddism behind and adopted Shiite Islam but retained their original Tibetan language.
Looks to be a good story.
It's after 10:00 P.M. and I started this post in the A.M. I spent the afternoon with my mother in the hospital. Just as I finished writing about the Balti Sherpas I got a call from her care home informing me that she had fallen and was refusing to let her caretakers get her up so they had called 911. When I arrived the paramedics were attempting to lift her, convinced she had broken a hip. I was skeptical so when they asked my permission to take her to the hospital I suggested they get her up first and then we take a few moments to assess the situation. When they tried lifting her she cried out in pain and they were insistent that she be transported to the hospital so I agreed. Several hours and many expensive tests later she was back in her care home, unbroken. Good news.
After my hospital stint we went and saw Towelhead, directed by Alan Ball, starring Aaron Eckhar, Toni Collette, Maria Bello, Peter Macdissi. This is a great film about a young girl, Jasira, and her budding sexuality that so terrifies her controlling, self absorbed mother that she abandons her to her equally fucked up Lebanese American father who is also terrified by her sexual coming of age. In her search for love, attention, acceptance, and exploration of her sexual self, she finds a sweet boyfriend, along with two sets of neighbors that befriend, exploit and protect her as she discovers a formidable sense of self.
This movie offers a nice balance of both sweetly funny and deeply heart wrenching moments.
See You Tube Trailer of Towelhead below.
The New York Times reports:
The ruling, which cannot be appealed and is to take effect on Oct. 28, held that a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, and a civil union law intended to provide all the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples, violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.
Striking at the heart of discriminatory traditions in America, the court — in language that often rose above the legal landscape into realms of social justice for a new century — recalled that laws in the not-so-distant past barred interracial marriages, excluded women from occupations and official duties, and relegated blacks to separate but supposedly equal public facilities...
Read the whole article here.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
and/or to their blog.
From thier website:
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects the Bush administration’s fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead calls for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
For me this week:
Cancer (June 21-July 22)Use your insecurities in your own favor. You have a few, and they may be stirring you up emotionally. But you also have a depth of commitment to your creative, sexual and spiritual needs, and you're in an unusually honest state about just what those are. Keep telling yourself the truth. Admit what you want every day; go for the feeling of confessing your deepest sentiments to yourself, and every day do one thing devoted to fulfilling them.
And because it's still my baby's birthday week and I love what it says for him:
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)Who you are on the inside is now impossible to hide, and thank the Goddess for that. Once you get a taste of what it's like to not fear being known for who you really are, it's unlikely you will ever turn back to your old ways of living. The real question is why you would have ever wanted to conceal your passion, your love or your love for life. The answer is probably the fear that others would be jealous; but now you know that's their problem and not your own.
For all of us today:
7 Tuesday: First quarter Moon. Venus sextiles Saturn. Venus squares Chiron. [The Venus-Chiron square is like a hot night with a lover you don't know that well. It's emotionally intense, you feel all kinds of deep passions, and ultimately you are left alone with your experience.]
The Moon is growing towards full — indeed, a very unusual Full Moon — and because of that, it’s a good time to continue moving those things that will contribute to your personal goals. Use love to support your work today. Remember that everything you do, ideally, is something that you want to be doing. If it’s not, try to figure out why it’s not and why you started doing it in the first place.