Friday, September 26, 2008

3 things to share

Sunset in Tasmania, Australia. I took this shot out of a moving car! I love the clouds when they make that sort of thin cottony blanket in the sky.
Copyright (c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

I wanted to link to a couple interesting articles I read online. The first one, Post-Ike images bring to mind The Road my friend - also from Houston - emailed to me. The article is chilling, and illuminating, and worth thinking about. It talks about how The Road - a Pulitzer prize winning fiction book being made into a movie - discusses through literature how civilized society is not the normal state of affairs and with a major disaster, we could easily revert to a very different state of the world and how humans relate to one another.

The other article is just a funny dialogue between Chris Rock and Larry King, It's Simple: Vote for the Guy With One House. My favorite line is, when asked by Larry King if he was proud that at this stage of our history a black man is running for President on a major ticket:

"Um, you know what? I'm proud Barack Obama's running for president. You know? If it was Flavor Flav, would I be proud? No. I don't support Barack Obama because he's black....There's a proud feeling because of the character of the man."

I laughed because of the Flavor Flav reference!

Last I wanted to include this amazing poem by Rainer Maria Rilke from Rilkes Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. It really resonated with me in so many ways, the dichotomy between the way I feel when I'm in the city, in suburbia versus the way I feel when I'm outdoors, as he puts it when the "wind is blowing through a field of flowers" and all that is lost when our children who become adults never experience the pleasures of nature and exploration and how it connects us so deeply to God and ultimately back to humanity. It also speaks to me of how much women lose out when we don't find men who truly love us for who we are, rather than for what they see visually or what they want from us and how easy it is and how many women close down that part of themselves that desired to be truly deeply loved because they stopped believing they would be seen.

The poem's first line is also prescient with the way natural disasters are destroying parts of cities - New Orleans, Houston, and many in other countries - but it's so much more than physical destruction - it's how our souls are being lost from the heart of God and His creation and how it inspires us and makes us alive. And though he does not put this component into the poem to me it speaks of how important it is to not surrender to this fate by taking life into our hands and seizing the moment and living life to the fullest - carpe diem! Anyway, that is my take on it. It's chilling and beautiful and inspiring. I love it.

Lord, the great cities are lost and rotting.
Their time is running out.
The people there live harsh and heavy,
crowded together, weary of their own routines.

Beyond them waits and breathes your earth,
but where they are it cannot reach them.

Their children waste their days
on doorsteps, always in the same shadow.
They don't know that somewhere
wind is blowing through a field of flowers.

The young girls have only strangers to parade before,
and no one sees them truly;
so, chilled,
they close.

And in back rooms they live out the nagging years
of disappointed motherhood. Their dying is long
and hard to finish: hard to surrender
what you never received.

Their exit has no grace or mystery.
It's a little death, hanging dry and measly
like a fruit inside them that never ripened. III, 4/5

- Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Anita Burrows and Joanna Macy

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