Monday, March 31, 2008

"The Wall"

photo by grassrootsmsw
Roger Waters Concert
The Berlin Wall, 1990

“Greater than scene is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.”

Eudora Welty

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Rose

photo by grassrootsmsw
Holly's garden

"I am a fox," said the fox.

"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."

"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."

"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince. But, after some thought, he added: "What does that mean, 'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."

"'To establish ties'?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me..."

"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox. But he came back to his idea. "My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life . I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. "Please, tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me..."

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near... "Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all," said The Prince.

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret." ...

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose..." said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It takes time to build trust and establish ties with another.
It requires consistency, fairness, equal treatment, and reciprocity.

The personal relationship is one that often must be integrated with the professional one...
hearts and minds coming together.

True personal bonds require the understanding of individual differences.
There is significant importance in being responsible to that gifted trust.
The bond is precious and fragile...
asking each to accept their responsibility for their part of the relationship.


Monday, March 24, 2008

The Safety Clutch...

photo by grassrootsmsw

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,

but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,

but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,

but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant that I may not be a coward,
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.”


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


photo by grassrootsmsw

“....All the things and events we usually consider as irreconcilable, such as cause and effect, past and future, subject and object, are actually just like the crest and trough of a single wave, a single vibration. For a wave, although itself a single event, only expresses itself through the opposites of crest and trough, high point and low point. For that very reason, the reality is not found in the crest nor the trough alone, but in their unity...”

Ken Wilber

Monday, March 17, 2008

The 'Grace' of March 18th

photo by grassrootsmsw
Brentwood, CA 1991

PINK...Not just any kind of pink, but the soft tender pink of a powdery rose. “It must be just the right shade,” Oma said. I always tried to wear some form of the “right shade” when I would visit her…if only, to see the smile and appreciation on her face.

The hot pink perfume box, saved from a trip to Paris in the 40’s, sat on her vanity bureau; just as it had, as far back as I can remember. “Shocking,” by Sciaparelli was written in gold across the box. She never failed to re-tell me that this was her favorite perfume…a perfume that was discontinued and no longer made. “It smelled of the perfect pink,” she said. I watched her eyes, dreamily reminisce, and go back to an exciting and youthful time in her life…there were untold and never to be spoken secrets and mysteries there.

My sister and I were her only grandchildren. “My girl angels,” she said, smiling and proud. We were the daughters she never had; the daughters’ she had always imagined to swathe and enfold in that “perfect pink.”

From young ages, Oma spoiled my sister and I with the most wonderful shopping sprees. While she usually picked out clothing for us, there was one occasion where my sister, at the age of 5, got the upper hand. It was a Saturday, at the Brentwood Country Mart, in the children’s clothing store, “Jack and Jill.” While my grandmother was preoccupied with the new dress I was trying on, my sister had begun her own scavenge of the store, finding and putting on the most outlandish and ostentatious dress and hat. “This is what I want, Oma,” she said, standing with her feet spread apart and hands on her hips. Poor Oma never knew what would hit her as she peeled into curls of laughter, tears coming from her eyes as she said, “My God, you look like little orphan Annie.” My sister did not find her outfit humorous at all and immediately burst into tears. “I want this outfit, I am NOT taking it off,” my sister shouted between sobs. Oma tried to control her giggling, but the more defiant my sister became, the more Oma laughed. Mind you, it became funnier as the lace surrounding the floppy sunflower hat, continued to flop in my sister’s face. Between laughter and tears, the owners of the dress shop suggested that Oma take my sister for a walk to calm her (even though my sister was NOT in any way going to disrobe from her chosen dress and hat). Oma, realizing that my sister was determined, took her on her lap and said, “Do you really want this dress and hat?” Through weepy 5 year old eyes, my sister looked intensely at Oma and said in the most sincere voice, “Oma, this is the dress I have wanted my whole entire life.” Needless to say, my sister left the dress shop in that very dress and hat, leaving Oma with a story she would tell for years to come.

Being 5 years older than my sister, I had the gift of Oma’s full unadulterated attention before my sister’s arrival. Oma always made me feel special and important when she would take me for breakfast or lunch to places of my choice. One morning, right before my sister was born, Oma took me for breakfast at the “Friar’s;” a favorite place for home made cinnamon buns. Oma made me feel more adult as she asked me detailed questions about myself and school. As we sat, enjoying our cinnamon buns and chatting, an older gentleman came to our table and said, “How lovely to see a mother and daughter enjoying a breakfast out together.” We both smiled and said, “Thank you.” As the man moved away from our table I said to Oma, “He thought you were my mom!” Oma smiled with a glowing blush. As we left the restaurant I suggested to Oma, “Let’s skip to the car!” Without hesitation she took my hand and we skipped the half a block to her car. I remember looking up at Oma and seeing the happy smile on her face. Then, I stopped and looked at Oma’s hands. “You know, Oma,” I said, “If that man had seen your worried hands he would have known you were my Oma and not my mom.” Leave it to a child to innocently deflate someone’s balloon. Years later Oma would re-tell this story, saying, “Here I was feeling so young after that man’s comment in the restaurant, and then Tianna asked me to skip to the car…I felt so youthful and complimented…then she told me about my ‘worried hands.’”

My sister and I always went to Oma’s home, knowing her welcoming arms would hold and love us. The familiar scents of her home, provided us with a sense of safety and consistency. Nothing ever changed in her home, and it was something we counted on. The player piano in her living room never tired of the same music reels we would play over and over. The front yard, with the large birch tree, awaited our regular picnics held in its’ shade. The room with the canopy bed was always ready for our sleep overs… made with the softest sheets and perfect goose down pillows. The rocker in the room is where Oma would sit and read our bed time stories to us as we dozed off to sleep.

Many visits to Oma were spent playing Yahtzee, Old Maid, and Clue in her den… Cashews and Coca-Cola supplied from the wet bar called “The Red Lyon.” The curved oak bar had been built as a replica from a pub in England which my grandfather had favored.

Another much loved past time was when Oma would let us play dress up in her never ending closet of clothing. My sister and I could spend hours pretending to be princesses and queens as we donned many of her different gowns and high heels. Oma would pretend she didn’t see us eating the green milk bone dog biscuits behind the wing back chairs in her den, while dressed in one of her old ball gowns. Oma let us get away with a lot and created beautiful spaces for our imaginations to blossom and flourish.

March 18th is Oma’s birthday and despite her ‘earthly’ absence to us since 2004, she is forever present in our hearts,’ and unconsciously, who she was to us, resonates and ricochets in how we lead our lives. Shocking pink…shocking pink…

With love from afar, yet so very near and always, cherished.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Allowing emergence...

photo by grassrootsmsw
Kaeng Krachan national Park

“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things-with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing serene hope.”

Corazon Aquino

Friday, March 07, 2008


photo by grassrootsmsw
Kaeng Krachan National Park

“To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.”

Mark Nepo

...Or, to be changed and open to all that is unexpected, unknown, or beyond our familiar
"comfort zone."


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


photo by grassrootsmsw
The Grand Palace
Bangkok, Thailand

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”

Jimmy Carter