Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee"

 A Carrot, an Egg, and a cup of Coffee... You will never look at a cup of Coffee the same, again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil.
In the first she placed Carrots, in the second she placed Eggs, and in the last she placed ground Coffee beans.  She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.  She fished the Carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the Eggs out, and placed them in a bowl.  Then she ladled the Coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, `Tell me what you see?'

`Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the Carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft.  The mother then asked the daughter to take an Egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell,
she observed the hard boiled Egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted the rich aroma.  The daughter then asked,`What does this mean, Mother?'

Her mother explained that each one of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water.  Each reacted differently.  The Carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The Egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior.  But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.  The Coffee beans were unique, however.  After they were in the water, they changed the water.

`Which are you?', she asked her daughter. `When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a Carrot, an Egg, or a Coffee bean?'
Think of this: Which am I?  Am I the Carrot that seems Strong, but with pain and adversity, do I  wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the Egg that starts with a malleable Heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid Spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?  Does my shell look the same, but on the Inside am I bitter and tough, with a stiff Spirit and a hardened Heart?

Or am I like the Coffee bean?  The Bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings you pain.  When the water gets hot it releases the fragrance and the flavor.  If you are like the Bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.  When the hour is the darkest and trials are the greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do You handle adversity?  Are you a Carrot, an Egg, or a Coffee Bean?
20 January, 2016
~May you have enough Happiness to make you Kind and Compassionate~enough Trials to make you Strong~ enough Sorrow to keep you Sensitive to Others~and enough Hope to keep you Happy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"The Realm Untenanted"

While starvation is the ultimate powerlessness and the 
antithesis of survival, hunger strike is a remarkable vehicle   
for gaining political clout. It is entirely disarming. The spectacle 
of a human being who is wasting away physically for the sake
of an ideal is one that approaches the godly. The hunger strike,
an ancient Irish form of protest, found a ritual expression in 1981, when ten men, in utter discipline, fasted to their deaths in a
Northern Ireland jail. The way in which the fasts began, staggered
as they were, felt like a silent procession up to a great door,
one man standing to the side as the next was presented.
This was the door of institutional justice, but became a door into the dark, a dark that the men seemed to illumine as they entered.
It was, for me, one of the most profoundly affecting periods
of the Northern Irish conflict, and one that, when remembered,
arouses feelings of admiration, annoyance, and guilt.
Starvation always possesses an accusatory quality, whether
it is in the face of a Kenyan woman who glares at the camera lens,
or in the emaciated appearance of Lavinia Kerwick, whose anorexia seemed to me to be a form of rage against a system that
 would send the man who raped her back onto the streets before
she had a chance to recover. In Katie Donovan's poem,
"Strike", the aggrieved hunger striker will feed the community
with the remains of her body. Her physical disintegration will
give life to her sense of justice, and give flesh to her ideal.
A fasting person may deepen my faith in human
 transcendence;the first images I saw of early nineteenth-century
Famine victims sent me into denial.  I still remember the moment.
It was in school, and I may have been around eight. I opened
a page of my History book and saw a drawing of a 
starving woman and her child. Until then, I had been under the impression that only black people died of hunger, and
the only black people I had ever seen were small faces on
the sides of charity boxes.  They were black babies, half-toy,
half-human,who lived in some land suspended between fantasy
 and the earth. Looking back, I amaze myself with the efficiency that I deployed in blocking all reaction to the picture.
But when I sat down to write a poem called "Easter-1995-
Hunger", it was the first image that returned.

...a woman and her daughter in a history book,
their bones pointing out from their flesh.
They weren't even black.

And I don't want to see my face,
I don't want to stroke the bones of my disgrace.
That I could be the one to die
that I'd have the power to destroy...

~ From "Irish Spirit";
Maighread Medbh

~ Beannaichte'
13 January, 2016 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Sweet Love"

Sweet Love,
 don't deny me just a hand to hold
I may not always be the one who sees
I find myself blinded, from time to time
Reaching out for someone who can take the lead
And in my weariness I've tried to cry-
Though my eyes are dry,
I've cried inside.

Sweet Love,
let me Lay myself Beside you
And  Listen to your breathing til it slows
 Long enough to Dream a Vision of my Life
Wrapped up in the Gentle Winds that blow
A Vision of a Life lived long, ago-
I see it,
 though the Lights are low.

Sweet Love,
like the Leaves that fall
The Scenes go Drifting by my eyes
I remember Holding you
Telling you, it will be all right
You know the Road looks Straight, from far Away
But it Turned into a Blind curve-
And I've Lost my Way.

Sweet Love,
let me Lay Beside you~
Wrapped up in the Gentle Winds that blow...

~Kate Wolf

 5 January, 2016