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Keep speaking Truth to Power

By | Blogs

Letter to Ascot local press

Sir / Madam,

Amazingly, I witnessed the demo outside my hospital window, at Frimley Park Hospital this week. Recovering from surgery…pretty rough and in pain…there was a great hullabaloo outside. Tottered to window. There were my long-time mates from SHH ( Save Heatherwood Hospital), together with members of UNITE & UNISON.

I was so hugely touched to see them: comrades of some 11 years campaigning for Heatherwood and the NHS.

Spent all day speaking to everyone who came into the Ward…20 or so,including a Matron. Checked that they knew what the demo was about and understood implications of the imminent WOS : Wholly Owned Subsidiary for 800 or so workers.

Back in bed, I cried. So full of love and appreciation for the demonstrators.

Such LONG TERM, STEADFAST, FOCUSED ACTION.

VIVA

Anne Yarwood

Member Voluntary group Save Heatherwood Hospital for 16 or so years.

July 2019

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The Borderline

By | Blogs

Cos what is love – a word, the feeling of you ?

Something we dream or the things that we do ?

And who am I – these thoughts, this feeling, my views

A fragile form or a dreamer like you ?

Are we so different, defined ?

Where is the borderline ?

 

When we are like water, like trees

We have a name, an illusion of identity

Of boundaries, of borderlines

But my dreams are yours and your fears are mine

I hope we wake up from this dream of being different, defined

When we are only space and time

 

Emily Maguire (https://emilymaguire.com/biog/) is a singer-song writer, poet and composer. The International Society for Bipolar Disorders awarded her the 2019 Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and Advocacy.

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The Fellowship of the Spring

By | Blogs

Since time immemorial, people worldwide, including those from our own native wisdom traditions, have held water to be sacrosanct. Humans have long held pilgrimages to sources of streams, doused themselves in holy lakes, made offerings on riverbanks and shores of oceans.

These were not wanton acts of blind worship but reverence to a deeply-known recognition of humanity’s dependence on water and a keenly-felt gratitude for nature’s benevolence. Until quite recently these habits have been forgotten and almost lost.

By resuming these rites, we can start to re-kindle a sense of intimacy with the natural world and an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all life. By deeply caring for and paying attention to our waterways, we grow motivated to defend and protect their right to flow, unimpeded by pollution.

“The way we see our world shapes the way we treat it….if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water…if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity – then we will treat each other with greater respect.”

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The Iraqi Nights

By | Blogs

In Iraq,
after a thousand and one nights,
someone will talk to someone else.
Markets will open
for regular customers.
Small feet will tickle
the giant feet of the Tigris.
Gulls will spread their wings
and no one will fire at them.
Women will walk the streets
without looking back in fear.
Men will give their real names
without putting their lives at risk.
Children will go to school
and come home again.
Chickens in the villages
won’t peck at human flesh
on the grass.
Disputes will take place
without any explosives.
A cloud will pass over cars
heading to work as usual.
A hand will wave
to someone leaving
or returning.
The sunrise will be the same
for those who wake
and those who never will.
And every moment
something ordinary
will happen
under the sun.

Dunya Mikhail (born 1965 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi-American poet based in the United States. In 2001, she was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing.[HERE)

 

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Jumping Mouse

By | Blogs

In Hyemeyohsts Storm’s vision quest story of Jumping Mouse (from book Seven Arrows), the little Mouse meets Frog, who is sitting on a lily pad at the edge of the Sacred River.

This beautiful tale (SEE ELSEWHERE FOR WHOLE TALE)  points to the essential wisdom of the threshold time of the Vision Quest. Prompted by the spirits of Nature, but under our own power, we jump as high as we are able.  Ultimately it is not what we see that transforms us.  It is the act of jumping, of reaching for the Sacred Mountain shining so near yet so far, that defines us and gives direction to our life quest.  If we do not gather all our strength and jump, we will never see further than the end of our nose.  By jumping we transcend our own limitations.  We enlarge the circle of purpose.

Taken from: The Wilderness Quest by Steven Foster & Meredith Little.  A handbook for adults, UK version adapted by Jeremy Thres and Caroline Wood.

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Homes, Houses

By | Blogs

“Hestia: goddess of fire, the hearth”

The first – born of the Olympians; symbol of the home, around whom the newborn child would be carried before being received by the family.

Some years ago a friend Sarah and I painted, every week. Our teacher Becky helped us enter the space of PAINTING FROM MEDITATION; detaching our conscious minds from our painting…inspired by British painter Cecil Collins’ paintings of visionary subjects. Collins attacked the great spiritual betrayal of love and the workings of life by the dominance of the scientific and technical view of life. He was inspired by poet William Blake. I recall my painting of Hestia. Squat figure, enveloped in Cerulean blue cloak, cross- legged on the floor, tending a small fire on the ground before her. I feel her presence now … safe, reliable, a defender.

Ref. Cecil Collins –  HERE

William Blake video ‘Room’ –  HERE

William Blake – Khan gallery –  HERE

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Trained to Hate

By | Blogs

Emotional correctness is about communicating compassion and mutual respect, not only with your words but with your intent and tone. I’m still an ardent fan, but I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to practise, catching myself slipping into anger and swimming in hate.

Especially in the last few years.

I was sort of trained to hate. Before I became a television commentator, I worked for fifteen years as a community organiser, fighting for policy reform on issues like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, health care, criminal justice and immigration.

Right-wingers were my enemies, and I hated them.

… Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States of America made my blood boil. I couldn’t believe the level of hate he so readily and proudly spewed against Muslims, women, immigrants and African-Americans.

I remember feeling dumbfounded when George W Bush was re-elected in 2004 … I may not have consciously categorised Bush voters as less than human, but I certainly thought they were less than American and certainly less than me – less smart, less understanding and, ironically enough, less compassionate.

I didn’t think any of that was particularly hateful.

I just thought I was correct.

  • From The Opposite of Hate: a field guide to repairing our humanity by Sally Kohn, Algonquin Books 2018, pp 1-2.
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Grenfell Tower, June 2017 – Ben Okri

By | Blogs

I could not get that burning tower out of my head. Bearing witness seemed the only thing to do. Three days after the fire I made my way there. Many years ago I used to live nearby and the tower was always in my periphery. I saw photographs of the dead before I saw the tower itself. Their faces were everywhere. They stared out from the undeniable reality of their lives. They were alive when those pictures were taken, alive like you and me. There were pictures on ordinary white paper, with their names below, sometimes their ages, and then the word MISSING. At that time their families still hoped they would be found. Seeing those faces on the wall, faces that were fresh with life, faces that were serious with a sense of the insurmountable problems of life, faces of a young couple that showed them happy and in love—I was quite overcome. Even before I had walked a few yards, I was already fighting the tears.

Acknowledgement – FT 8 June 2018

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Don’t Worry About a Thing

By | Blogs

Three Little Birds

PLEASE CLICK ON BLOG PIX OR BLOG TITLE TO SEE THE VIDEO LINK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYi5aW1GdUU

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)

Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin’, this is my message to you

Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry
Singin’…

Bob Marley

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Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

By | Blogs

Last year saw Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark unfold in Reading. With a small team, we brought over 24 diverse events to the town, hoping to stimulate a shift in consciousness. It became apparent this would be subtle rather than seismic, and indeed most major cultural, political, religious and corporate bodies shunned or ignored the festival. And yet, it was powerful.

To use a yoga anaology, it’s all about ‘micro-muscles’, deep internal muscles not reachable through dynamic exercise and obvious stretches. So one sits in almost complete stillness, focussing on small micro-movements. It feels slightly foolish, disappointing; how much more satisfying to be panting after a few hearty rounds of Salute to the Sun. Yet if one is attentive, the deep workings can be felt; if one envisions the movements, they make sense.

For those feeling overwhelmed by noise, despair, rage, preaching, and shouting for desperate action, exercising of the deep internal spiritual muscles through yoga, meditation, breathwork, gardening, stillness, then hone one for the power of dynamic action.

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