For Valentine's Day festivities where I work, I googled up some fine quotations about love (and life.) I share some of them here.
We are all born for love... it is the principle existence and it's only end. --Disraeli
The life and love we create is the life and love we live. --Leo Buscaglia
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. --Bertrand Russell, Earl Russell
By ourselves we can enjoy life, but to really appreciate life we must find companionship. --author unknown
You who have received so much love, show your love by protecting the sacredness of life. The sacredness of life is the greatest gifts that God has given us. --Mother Theresa
There are only four questions of value in life . . . What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love." --From the film Don Juan DeMarco
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love. --Henry Drummond
Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind. --Henri Frederick Amiel
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life; That word is love. --Sophocles
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. --Lao Tzu
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. --Martin Luther King, Jr.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. --1 Peter 4:8-9 Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig
Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde
Forget love - I'd rather fall in chocolate! ~Sandra J. Dykes
This post should have been yesterday. Yesterday, Feb 12, is the anniversary of the founding of the NAACP 100 years ago, and the first time Americans burned their draft cards (in 1967) to protest peacetime draft. It also was the anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln but it would be hard in the U.S. not to notice that fact.
Thanks once again to the fine folks at Nebraskans for Peace for their "Cat Lovers against the Bomb," (CLAB to them) from which I got these good facts.
Reminds me that everything happens some time, so creates an anniversary. And we use anniversaries to remember things. Besides the anniversaries above: on this day in the past, people lived and loved. Some good things happened, and lots of bad things happened.
Perhaps if we all do good today, we will have happier memories to look back on.
Today I prayed very intensely. I used ACTS, adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication. I am praying for peace, for the leaders of democracies around the world to defend their citizens and the rights of their citizens. I am praying that we all realize each other's humanity and human rights, that we can all work to make things better around the world. Please join me in these prayers
Yesterday I really tried to do small things in a great way. I didn't do anything worth reporting--just usual chore stuff-- but did it with great focus. I saw faces. I asked for folks' names. I tried to learn a little Vietnamese. I breathed deeply, prayed in odd places (the mall, eg) and worked hard. I used the bus to grocery shop. I even tried to still my internal chatter! And, 16164 steps on my pedometer, which might be a record.
I am pleased to report I wrote to Utne to express my disappointment the latest issue didn't back up its claim to show how to fix our schools, stop genocide, and conquer fear. I also emailed the president to share with him the wishes for his first term from the folks who attended our inauguration eve party on 1/21.
These were some of the ideas that came to me at the Quaker silent weekend.
Ooo Ooo so much peacemaking to do! I am excited at the prospect. Excited and hopeful.
On the brink of this weekend I pray for the peaceful virtures of serenity and balance. With these I can do great things, or do small things in a great way, as Mother Theresa told us. Thank you Mother Theresa.
The small things I will do are tend my home and family, and entertain a bit. Hope I can do them in a great way. I want to find some time around the edges for extra peacemaking stuff. I will relate them tomorrow.
This is a little like telling someone your weight. You get motivated to do something to make the news better!
Quite a list. As you read it, did you find a few of them calling to you more strongly?
My mind lingered on stillness and connectedness.
Especially on weekends I find myself in constant motion, and it's tiring. Sometimes I only pause in the bathroom and at the dining table. I can't feel still and I feel its absence keenly. What I loved about the silent weekend was that I could be still. Nothing whatsoever kept me from it, in fact.
Connectedness delights me. I love finding new connections. I think of community as a tapestry, and the more warps and wefts, the tighter the weave, the stronger the fabric-- and the greater the possibility for beauty. At our big inauguration party, it surprised me to learn who already knew who. More connections. The fabric of my community is a little stronger.
Daily life has resumed but the weekend's ideas are still in me. I carried out one of them yesterday (a simple one), and have begun a few others (gently nudging my husband toward one green action and another that supports a nonprofit and issue we care about, talking to conservatives, practicing good listening skills). Also I am working on reducing my personal chatter.
I had some stuff to feel contrite about--I was immersed in a Tom Clancy novel, and shirked my tasks and stayed up too late. Finished the book today and plan to sleep well tonight!
And the spirit brought me more gifts! My coworker Ginger met a man who attended Westtown and identifies as a Quaker. Another Quaker in my town!! This is exciting.
Ginger is brimming with ideas and I am going to help her.
How is this for a cool idea. Does your city have a sister city? If so, why not set up a student exchange with that city and have the students learn about the green and sustainable practices the host city is doing!? And participate in a community forum to share the status of carbon reduction, alternate energies, local food, whatever, from their home country! Then when the students return home, they hold another forum to share what they have learned. And somehow (haven't figured this all out yet) find ways to implement what the student ambassador learned from sister city.
How else can we build peace with sister cities? I am glad my city has a sister city and I hope we can use that mechanism to increase the level of harmony in the universe.
How I Spent My Weekend (in 10th grade French, it was the assignment every week to write an essay entitled "Comment j'ai passe mon weekend." It really stuck with me)
I attended the silent weekend for the Pacific NW Qtr of North Pacific Yearly Meeting. It was wonderful. No speech for 40 hours. We worshipped in meetings for worship and in mindful activities. It was rich, fun, and filled with grace.
I had hoped the weekend would recharge me spiritually and help me find ways to help Obama form a more perfect union.
It did, and I did.
Je me suis tres bien amusee (I had a very good time).
I lavished attention (really wallowing!) in the prayer structure I learned in the very amusing book The Year of Living Biblically, which I recommend cheerfully. The structure is ACTS. Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication. The spirit really opened up and the Thanksgiving and supplication sections were huge, and wonderful. Then ideas poured forth, just as I'd hoped.
And that was only the first worship session, just after we clammed up our yappers!