Category Archives: Philosophy

“I is Kind, I is Smart, I is Important”

yin yang

I was watching “The Help” today again for the second time and appreciated the movie/book all over again as I heard the little girl in the movie say the words “I is Kind, I is Smart, I is Important” which she learns from her African American nanny. The beautiful little baby  girl does not see her nanny’s dark skin color, but loves her for who she is. It’s a quote that all of us should repeat like a mantra to give us reinforcement of our worth. Sometimes we forget our worth. It’s funny how little kids do not see color and discriminate against that because they are pure of heart. They do not judge us if we are fat, not as attractive, if our hair looks bad one day they do not make derogatory comments, or if we have acne they do not tell us to use expensive skin care products. If we do not wear designer clothes it doesn’t matter one iota or if we just look plain run down or have circles under our eyes, little children do not see all that. The little ones see inside of us, they see our spirit within.  They are the ones who see our true worth.

It’s funny that as people get older they start discriminating. They become harsh and judgmental. The differences in people become a source of contempt rather than something they should enjoy and learn about and experience. The duality of life is quite impregnable. It’s hard to tell someone who firmly believes that you are not a great person that you are indeed worth something. If that person is convinced you are not beautiful or good, there’s no convincing him/her otherwise. On the other hand, to someone who loves you, it’s hard to make them see that you do have flaws and that you are indeed human. I am not religious, but I do believe that we find our gods and demons right here on earth.  I believe that we don’t have to wait for our heaven and hell when we die; it’s right in the here and now. Here on earth, there are those cruel enough to bring us down. They tell us we are not worth it; that we are not good enough, we are not smart, or beautiful or we should not be cherished because we are different. And then we meet the angels in this world, who constantly reinforce our self-worth and our virtues. They are our angels and they shine light on us and surround us with this surreal aura of beauty. This duality is in essence the duality of good and evil. It surrounds us and either lifts us or devaluates us. It’s really up to us how we choose to deal with the duality. Do we have the strength to resist that evil and not allow those decrepit, miserable souls to pull us down or do we move to those who constantly help us with their wisdom and kindness to achieve our greatest potential. It’s in our power to do choose. Our problem is that sometimes we do not see the demon who lurks behind a pretty face or we do not recognize the angels passing by. It’s up to us to recognize the duality and find a way to choose one over the other as they pass through our lives.

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My Paradoxical Being

good witch bad witch

When the world becomes dark, who whispers to whom? Does the good witch save the bad witch from the dark quagmire, or does malevolence take over for the sake of survival? Dark is the flip side of light I believe. It’s so easy to crossover, it’s so easy to go from caring to not caring. It is so easy to be paradoxical…the dark side is never too far from the light. It’s perhaps the flip side. The sun and moon are there even when our eyes see dark and light. The paradoxical life remains in shadows and light, playing with each other. So who whispers to whom in the dark to keep the other sane and safe. Perhaps the dark shelters the light from the harsh winds and shoulders the rage and bitterness so the lighter one remains pure and bright. The burden is on the darkness to hide all that is difficult and harsh. The dark protects the light in this paradoxical world. Yet we only appreciate the light for what it shows us, but then the dark may keep secrets that if we were to behold we would run and scream in horror and pain. So be thankful for the dark for preserving the lightness of our beings.

A Prayer of Forgiveness

tears

I have made many mistakes in my life; sometimes some cause more pain than others and leave deep wounds. I realized that I can only move forward when I find it in my heart to forgive myself. So, I opened up my diary to write my thoughts yesterday and this page opened up to the prayer of forgiveness. It was a forceful message for me.

I forgive the tears I was made to shed,

I forgive the pain and the disappointments,

I forgive the betrayals and the lies,

I forgive the slanders and intrigues,

I forgive the hatred and the persecution,

I forgive the blows that hurt me,

I forgive the wrecked dreams,

I forgive the stillborn hopes,

I forgive the hostility and jealousy,

I forgive the indifference and ill will,

I forgive the injustice carried out in the name of justice,

I forgive the anger and the cruelty,

I forgive the neglect and the contempt,

I forgive the world and all its evils

I also forgive myself.

May the misfortunes of the past no longer weigh on my heart.

Instead of pain and resentment, I choose understanding and compassion.

Instead of rebellion, I choose the music from my violin.

Instead of grief, I choose forgetting. Instead of vengeance, I choose victory.

I will be capable of loving, regardless of whether I am loved in return,

Of giving, even when I have nothing,

Of working happily, even in the midst of difficulties,

Of holding out my hand, even when utterly alone and abandoned,

Of drying  my tears, even while I weep,

Of believing, even when no one believes in me

—  Paulo Coelho, “Aleph”

Bridges of Madison County Marathon

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It’s been a marathon couple of days submerging myself in the magic of the book and movie, “The Bridges of Madison County” written by Robert James Waller. I am not one to shed tears, but it’s been a ceaseless stream of tears and heartbreaking sobs as I revisit one of the most poignant tales of an Iowa housewife, Francesca Johnson, who falls in love with a wandering, handsome photographer,Robert Kincaid, within a matter of four days. Four days, you might wonder? Can people fall in love for a lifetime in four days? I say it might be possible if the stars are aligned just right and you have a heart that believes, truly believes in the magic of romance. For those that have not heard of this book, read it first before watching the movie. The book is a feast for your mind, with words that will tingle all parts of your body and set your heart afire with poignant messages. Then watch the movie and see the unexpected chemistry of Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.  NOTE: You will understand why I couldn’t leave out the image of the truck viewed from the rain washed windshield of the car in the above slideshow after watching the movie!

I have never seen a more trite story become more visually enchanting through the words of Waller. The houswife, Francesca (played by Meryl Streep in the movie) has a midlife affair with our exotic, nomadic photographer Robert Kincaid (played by Clint Eastwood) for 4 days while her family is away at a fair. You may think, that’s all there is to the plot????? No other twists, turns, intricacies, plot surprises, suspense elements? A resounding “NO” follows, but oh how beautiful the story is and it remains in our hearts and minds long after the last words are uttered. There are so many quotable quotes and phrases and paragraphs that I had to place one whole page of them dedicated entirely to this book separately. The ending is bittersweet and I won’t give it away. What remains imprinted for me is how engrossed we get in the love of Francesca and Robert Kincaid. The story leaves us mesmerized with Robert Kincaid in a way that we truly want to believe that he existed in real life as a bona fide National Geographic photographer. Kincaid kept on referring to himself as the “last cowboy” and one of the best and most memorable quotes referring to his character was reflected in this : “I am the highway and the peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea”. A peregrine has many meanings and Kincaid symbolized all of them; the nomadic drifter always wanting to feel the road beneath his feet.

One article actually claimed that Kincaid remained so vivid and so interesting a character that National Geographic had to continuously deny the existence of this fictitional and famed photographer’s existence. Not only that, many wanted to see the issue of National Geographic which portrayed the romantic images of the covered bridges of Madison County. I myself fell in love with the idea of covered bridges after reading the book and watching the movie.

The whole movie can be summed up in this one phrase uttered by Francesca: “They (her husband and children) came home. And with them, my life of details.” We all want to sometimes move away from the day to day routine which becomes humdrum. Our life becomes unexciting and mundane. We seek for the metaphor of an exotic stranger who will sweep us away to lands far from the ordinary, someone who will whisper secret mysteries into our ears and tell us we are the most beautiful things that walked the celestial heavens and earth. We want four days and nights of magic where we can be stunning, desirable and irreplaceable in the eyes of some handsome stranger. If we leave with the stranger to those far, exotic lands, that life we left behind will haunt us and we may leave behind more pain and sorrow from our own actions.

The beauty of the book lies in the visual effect from the play of words. You see everything so vividly and experience it with Francesca and Kincaid. You feel their love, their unbreakable, timeless connection in the four days and this says it all in the letter from Kincaid to Francesca:  “It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty bumming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another.”  

And in the end, this was something that Kincaid said that summed it all up for both of them. They had a love that endured, that was short lived, but felt throughout their lifetimes; a passionate yet secure kind of love that is rare. It’s the kind of love we all want to experience when Kincaid says : “In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.”  

Look Up and See What You Might be Missing

“I have 422 friends yet I am lonely…” I may not have 422 frends on facebook, but that is also a true statement for me as I type my blog post and reach out to a few, as I go on facebook to see what my friends are doing, as I text to see how my kids are and if I don’t text them I may not get an answer for quite a while. I feel lonely and empty sometimes in a world that is full of wanna-be-robots dictated and overpowered by technology. In a world that is submerged in social media, we have so many friends, but how many do we truly know well and how many know us well enough to be able to describe our inner most thoughts and identify us as a human being. How many of your friends really know you, the essence of you? If we do not look up from our texting, look out into the world, leave the bed and computer, chat rooms, and webcams, do we have a chance of finding out the beauty in a person’s expressions? Can we read when they are unhappy, jubilant, in need of company or emotional support or simply, can we read their struggles and learn to help them through all the internet channels, devices, and wired connections? Do we understand the warmth of holding someone’s hands or feel the pain when someone’s tears fall down his/her face? Or do we not even want to feel anymore? Are we incapable of knowing how to deal with emotions? Can we truly connect if we don’t look up and look into each others’ eyes and share what is deep within our souls? Perhaps we want instant gratification of answers and communication more than spending time in a world where we actually have to take time to meet someone and get to know someone. Watch this video and see how powerful a message it provides for all of us. Please make a little change in your life in communicating and trying to feel what someone else is feeling by looking at them, hugging them, interacting with them and reaching out to them in person and actually talking. This will separate us from robots in the world to come. I truly hope you see a bright and beautiful world filled with amazing people as you look up!

The Invisible Red Thread

red thread
An invisible red thread,
Connects those who are destined to meet,
Regardless of time, place or circumstance,
 The thread may stretch or tangle,
But may never break. 

 

 

 

 

The Invisible Red Thread Story comes from a Chinese legend which goes as follows:

Walking home one night, a young boy sees an old man standing beneath the moonlight (Yuè Xià Lǎo). The man explains to the boy that he is attached to his destined wife by a red thread. Yuè Xià Lǎo shows the boy the young girl who is destined to be his wife. Being young and having no interest in having a wife, the young boy picks up a rock and throws it at the girl, running away. Many years later, when the boy has grown into a young man, his parents arrange a wedding for him. On the night of his wedding, his wife waits for him in their bedroom, with the traditional veil covering her face. Raising it, the man is delighted to find that his wife is one of the great beauties of his village. However, she wears an adornment on her eyebrow. He asks her why she wears it and she responds that when she was a young girl, a boy threw a rock at her that struck her, leaving a scar on her eyebrow. She self-consciously wears the adornment to cover it up. The woman is, in fact, the same young girl connected to the man by the red thread shown to him by Yuè Xià Lǎo back in his childhood, showing that they were connected by the red string of fate.

This story in fact is prevalent not only in Chinese culture but in Japanese culture and the belief is that the Gods have tied this red thread of destiny to those who are connected as soulmates or partners in this lifetime to come and help each other or live a life together in some way that will be connected and important. It may be similar to the concept of “soulmates” but is not just singular to lovers, it may also spread as far as connecting two people who make some sort of mark on each others’ lives in some way that is of some significance. The red thread ties them together and will allow them to meet each other for some purpose in life.

The Idea of You

rainy day man

The past is history for a reason and it should remain as such. It’s not just HIS story, but it’s HER story as well as OUR story. How one may want to go back and rectify events or change things and alter what could have been lies in the deep desire to improve on life. What we do now can never change what happened in the past. One can’t revisit emotions and live them as they were. Nor can one do something today to make it right for yesterday. It just does not work that way. In fact, you may be working to do more harm than good. You can’t examine and make things right with what went wrong. What went wrong or happened in the past changed destiny today. It made you who you are and what you have become today with a life defined by a series of actions from those moments and steps in the past. You wove the story with the threads in your tapestry. They just had to be interwoven in the right places to bring forth an image. It was meant to happen exactly that way. Playing around and trying to go back and change things for the better sometimes may lead to problems. Meaning, if we try to reconnect with people from our past and rectify all the things that went wrong, it may just not work out in the way we may envision or in our favor. We may have good intentions, but the outcome may not be beneficial in the long run. It may cause more pain, more sorrow than it’s worth. So we certainly should do things with some foresight and less impulsiveness in our enthusiasm to be the good guy and right an old wrong. Trying to be a good person sometimes backfires if taken the wrong way. We might find that our stained glass windows are a bit dusty, smudged with soot accumulated from the years traversed. When we try and wipe the dust off, the image of the person who reappears in our life may have changed with time. The one who looks back may have traces of gray hair, may have added a few pounds here and there, may have some lines around the mouths and eyes, but we still see the youth and the charm. We fail to see that time has etched struggles, pain, worry lines or has given wisdom, maturity, depth to thoughts that were perhaps idealistic and romantic in the past.Time not only may add years to the appearance, but may add unanticipated characteristics and qualities to a person today that we do not want to acknowledge exist. Do we really want to blemish the shiny gloss that coats the windows of the past? “Let sleeping dogs lie” is an apt phrase, because if you wake the sleeping dog, it may rise up to tell you it may not like the person you’ve become today and may not be able to say it kindly without causing some pain. Sometimes it’s “the idea of a you” that tugs at my heart strings, the “you” that made my heart melt, the “you” that gave attention to every whim and thought of mine, the “you” that made the “me” in me feel extremely special, but that “you” does not want to remain for “me” today.

A New Year, A New Me

At the beginning of each year, I always wonder how my year will turn out. At the end of the year I assess whether the year has been overall good or bad. I am quite happy to say that I am kissing 2013 goodbye with no regrets or a backward glance. It was not a great year for me for many reasons; primarily health reasons colored my year to a dull gray. Do I see any light when I look backward through the tunnel of 2013 ? Not much. I did leave with some life lessons. Here are some that will hopefully make me a better person for the coming year ahead by making these changes:

1) I will try not to be judgmental. My honesty may be too hard on others. I have a tendency to lose friends by being too honest and too judgmental. They may not want advice even when they think they need it. So advice, warranted or unwarranted, will be doled out in very small doses in this year.

2) I have to learn to spot the jealous tendencies in people before it becomes dangerous and stay away from those who tend to have negative feelings about me. Negative energy from others is incredibly destructive and when I see it or spot it, I must run! Once again, telling those who are exhibiting certain negative emotions that will affect our relationship does not help. They will deny it and make me think I am hormonal. I have had this happen many times. Hormones have been made the scapegoat for many a problem between friends. It’s not their flaw necessarily, but my hormones.

3) I will channel my artistic creativity to the max. I want to paint, draw, go on photo adventures with my new camera and write write write until there are no words left (as if that could ever happen) !!!! Creativity is the one thing that takes me away from all the pain and struggle that comes into my life.

4) I want to keep learning as many things that will make my mind grow. I want to be a human sponge. I want to be the sponge that keeps soaking up information and be the go-to-girl for others about technology. I am proud to be a geek, an artistic geek, but a geek nevertheless.

5) I want to become a healthier person overall by improving my diet, exercising in a variety of ways and just making my body stronger. Continue reading A New Year, A New Me