Time Marching By

"It is not enough to stay busy. So, too, are the ants.
The question is what you are busy about."
Henry David Thoreau

It is the middle of March. March. An appropriate name for how life seems to March by.
Where did January and February go?

Did I live like a dizzy ant scurrying in circles?

Time has certainly Marched by.

What I seek is balance. Balance that allows me to live in a state of soulful grace. It is not easy. Clearly it is up to me and me alone to clear the clutter from my path.
And yet I reflect. What would I remove?

January was spent absorbing, learning; spiritually growing as we traveled through Cambodia, India and Singapore. I realized that I loved the MOST who had the LEAST.

The beautiful people who live in the floating villages of the Tonle Sap River.

Their entire lives are spent on the river and lake. There you find a floating market, church and school. The children float in their twirling dented tin pans, like silver minnows dancing about.
The women, weathered-chafing hands extended, hoping for an American dollar. One lucky dollar will buy rice for dinner.
This is a nation recovering from a devastating genocide. The marks are still there, daily reminders of the destructive power of evil.
But the people are resilient. Happy. Productive.

An orphanage outside of Siem Reap. There are one too many orphanages.
The children are shy at first, eventually huge smiles warm up when they share their art.
Art is an universal language. It breaks down barriers and opens doors.

Indian school girls dressed in cornflower blue uniforms, taking a break from their studies. They share the open meadows with lazy, caramel colored cows and lemon drop hued flowers.

Bring your camera out, they become fascinated and eager to have their photos taken. Of course they giggle and are delighted to see their photo on your camera screen.

Then there are more GIGGLES and SILLIES.

As I sit here writing, I wonder what this beautiful girl is doing today. Is she happy? Did she learn something new? Did she play games with her school mates?  How is her English doing? She is one of the fortunate children receiving an education.

Exploring Singapore with our Four Little Muggers....few stones were left unturned....few ice cream parlors missed....hours of play, parks and painting.

By February we returned to the states. Our daughter and husband, immediately left to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary....in Singapore. Grandma Cathy and Grammy Shar Shar spent several weeks "mothering and loving" the Funny Bunnies.

And time kept Marching on.

Our son who lives in Utah, came for a five day visit, which led to our driving to the eastern side of North Carolina to visit our daughter and husband.

When families are together who are normally states apart, the time visiting is precious and does MARCH by quickly.

Life is more than travel. It has its peaks and valleys. And so I search for balance. How will time play out through the coming spring months.

I have missed not having time to paint. To get back to yoga. To read.

Two paintings are now started. Pages are done in my Art Journal.
I can feel that some balance, some equilibrium is pulling me in, like the tightrope walker who reaches the end of the rope and with relief steps onto the platform.

I will always be the busy ant, but hopefully not running in circles.

Women: the Making of Our Heritage

Heidi Hemming and Julie Hemming Savage are intelligent, articulate, talented women with a shared message. They co-wrote a very important and timely book I have wanted to share.
March continues to be International Women's Month therefore this seemed the perfect time to introduce Julie and Heidi's book to you. 

Women Making America  has a place in everyone's personal library, for it is a story of the backbone of our country--the women and the causes they struggled, fought for and attained.

And for you readers who live outside of America, we honor your heritage; your personal history, those women who have made a difference, paved the way for your generation to live with more equality, freedom and a voice that is heard.

Thus this isn't just an American book, but a historical appreciation and reminder for how far women have come world wide.

Now may the message extend to our sisters and daughters who live in countries where a woman's voice is still SILENCED.
 Today's post provided by Heidi Hemming

Author Pearl S. Buck once said that writing her books was like being “ a juggler trying to keep a handful of balls aloft at once. . . . Were I a man, my books would have been written in leisure, protected by a wife and a secretary and various household officials.  As it is, being a woman, my work has had to be done between bouts of homemaking.”  All I can say to that is “amen sister.” When my sister and I started writing Women Making America in 2003, we had busy lives and five children, ages two to ten, between us. Our project was carried out in the midst of homework assignments, hastily prepared meals, and Girl Scout cookie sales.  But our commitment arose from a passionate love of women’s history and our realization that as educators we could not find one chronological history of American women written at a level accessible to readers of all ages. How would students discover that women have been full participants in the American story if there weren’t the resources to teach?
Our efforts resulted in a book entitled, Women Making America: a colorful whirlwind tour of what it would have been like to be a woman living in any given era of American history. How would it have felt to get up every day and put on a corset, layers and layers of clothes, and top it off with a huge hat?  What could have motivated a group of young crew team members to march into the Yale athletic director’s office, take off their shirts to reveal “TITLE IX” scrawled across their chests?  And what was Ellen Church doing wearing that silly cape and little cap, pushing a plane into its hanger?  Throughout the book we included reoccurring themes such as health, home, amusements, paid work, and beauty to provide a lens for both change and continuity over time.

Race, geography, culture and class have all shaped the experience of womanhood in significant ways. In this version of history, slaves, Japanese picture brides, and poor seamstresses appear side by side with more well-known icons of women’s history. Central to the story is the idea that we are all history-makers, and that the choices we make matter. To parenthesize this, each chapter begins with a choice, from slave Satira Turner walking away from her master with Christmas dinner still on the stove, to Louise Rosine refusing to roll up her stockings on a hot 1920s Chicago beach. As much as possible, we used anecdotes and women’s own voices to describe what they did and how they felt about it. The result is a narrative in which we see ourselves, our mothers, and our grandmothers. 

Not long after Women Making America was published, our editor’s eight-year-old daughter had a friend over to play. In the course of the game, he insisted that girls were not as capable as boys. “Wanna make a bet?” she responded, and ran to show him the book.

We know women’s history matters, but so should everyone else.

Editor's Note:
Visit Heidi Hemming and  sister Julie Hemming Savage's website at Women Making AmericaThere you may download Chapter 2 and Chapter 7.

Earthquake: Being Aware

It started with a phone call from my good friend, Dale. She called early in the morning, her voice rather hesitant. She wondered how I was. Fine!  More hesitancy. Finally I had to ask what seemed to be the matter.  She remembered that we have a son and family living in Asia and couldn't be sure if it was Japan. I told her they were in Singapore. Then she gave me the news of the earthquake in Japan. 

Watching little TV, I was UNAWARE...totally UNAWARE of such a horrible disaster.  How could I not sense something like this happening.  I am no longer 'unaware.'

One month ago we were twice in the Nakita Airport, an enormous international, hub airport in Japan. It was clean, open spaced, pleasant.  I took photos, visited the shops before our next flight to Singapore. I purchased cards of happy people doing everyday things.

And now the airport is shut down. I won't belabor the point. 

So what can the average citizen of the world do to help?

I did some searching and located some sites and other postings.  I want to share what I found.

For inquiries/ American citizens living in Japan:  
U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services at +1.888.407.4747 or +1.202.647.5225

For inquiries/UK citizens living in Japan:
UK Foreign Office Helpline number at +44(0) 20.7008.000 or japan.earthquake@fco.gov.uk 

American Red Cross:
To donate US$ 10 to the American Red Cross,  text REDCROSS to 90999 to help Japan.

Canadian Red Cross:
To donate for Japan Earthquake Relief, click here.

Global Giving:
To donate to the Global Giving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, click here.

Good Will:   Good Will 

 Salvation Army:
To donate US$ 10 for earthquake relief, text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org

Doctors Without Borders/M├ędecins Sans Frontieres:
Click here to donate.

Network for Good:
Click here to donate.  This website will link you to many other websites.

When you hit the 'click here' phrase, a long line will pop up. Click on the main name of the website and you will go directly to that site.

Please feel free to copy and send this posting to all that you know.  Add your own information. And may the WORLD'S people be generous, when generosity is needed in so many places on this Earth.

International Womens' Day, 100 years






Faith Bases

Voice or NO Voice

Laughter and Happiness

Suffering and Neglect
Convenience and Ease

Hard Labor and Struggle
Children forget how to cry.

Through a Child's Eyes

Talk terrific fun, we all jumped in the car and headed for the newly renovated  Discovery Museum. This is the Kingdom of Play: Invention, Exploration and Imagination.

All shoes were created from recycled paper!

Small Treasures

The drive was unremarkable.
An every day bend in the road
changed my point of view.

A shimmer of lavender
  amidst dry winter stalks.

Bend down.
Look closely.
Seek the details
in the living.

Miniature life
green with spring hope.
Pushing upward
against the odds.
Facing the sun.