Sep 19, 2009

Prayer found in Chester Cathedral (1770)

Give me a good digestion, Lord,
and also something to digest.
Give me a healthy body, Lord,
with sense to keep it at its best.

Give me a healthy mind, good Lord,
to keep the good and pure in sight,
which seeing sin, is not appalled,
but finds a way to set it right.

Give me a mind that is not bored;
that does not whimper, whine or sigh.
Don't let me worry overmuch
about the fussy thing called I.

Give me a sense of humor, Lord;
give me the grace to see a joke,
to get some happiness from life
and pass it on to the other folk.

Sep 9, 2009

This is good

So there I was, waiting for the bus home, feeling sluggish because of an exhaustive round at my acupuncturist's. I leaned against the side of the bus shed, reading the latest issue of "Science of Mind Magazine", idly paging through the daily affirmations. I started reading the accompanying text for today's:

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there is only one volitional factor in the Universe, and that is Spirit.

Easy to believe when things go well. Instead of feeling abandoned by God when things don't go well, the article suggests we focus on the above-mentioned core truth - one power, one source:

Then we could say, "This must be good. It's all God, so let me look for the good."

As I read that, a wailing ambulance drove by. I continued to hear it for a while, remembering that a friend had said that because of having to drive in and out of streets to get to the urgent care entrance, which was within view from my bus stop, you could hear the ambulance all over the place. Another ambulance drove past and stopped at the end of our long bus turnout. Out jumped the two-person ambulance team: A man and a woman. They stood and discussed something for a bit, then the woman started walking towards us.

She looked first in one bus shed, then the next. Realizing whomever she was looking for was to be found in a bus shed, I turned and looked inside ours. I was a bit startled to see a man with a somewhat bloody nose sitting on the bench. I hadn't noticed him at all before. He didn't look all there but he didn't look too hurt, either, so I turned back and looked at the approaching woman. I wasn't sure if my guy was her guy so did nothing. She soon enough was at our shed, and yes, our man was the one she was looking for.

As she asked him if he'd fallen and hurt himself, it was very clear that he was in no condition to answer. An empty fifth of vodka lay on the ground next to him. The male of the ambulance team had now caught up and together he and his partner managed to drag the injured man to his feet and down the sidewalk. His feet were of barely any use to him. They headed slowly for the parked ambulance at the end of the block, lights still flashing, doors left wide open.

As I watched them, I tested what I had just read. I said to myself, "this is good," and immediately felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I was grateful that I live in a society where someone saw the man fall and called for an ambulance. Grateful that the ambulance people came and made the effort to look for the man. Grateful that they found him and took him with them. Grateful that in the meantime, the ambulance was left perfectly alone and unharmed (someone had stolen a police car from an accident scene a week or so earlier). Grateful that any of us could happen to get a little too falling-down drunk for our own good and still be cared about.

This is good. It is all good.

Wordless Wednesday - Lake path

Wordless Wednesday

Sep 7, 2009

Train spot

A little change in routine, and I suddenly find myself with a new delight.

My acupuncturist's office is right next to the rail yard. The most convenient way to get to my bus home is mostly under a roof: Through the train station, the adjoining shopping center and bus depot, down into the underground pedestrian tunnel. I am exposed to the elements only during the one block from my acupuncturist's building to the train station, and the same stretch from the pedestrian tunnel to the bus stop.

Today I took a different bus to town and ended up experiencing rush hour traffic on different streets, and arrived much earlier than I expected. I found myself people-watching as I walked the pedestrian tunnel, caught the only rush-hour traffic of my day - in a long line of pedestrians - and continued to enjoy being part of the crowd through the shopping center and into the train station.

That's where I decided to stop and wait. According the signs in front of two trains, passengers should be bording, but weren't. A large man in a bright red shirt sporting a huge lower-case "i" (the same used for the tourist information office) paced a bit by the chain blocking passage. The passengers waited patiently in the characteristic clumps Norwegians choose (whereas the British, for example, would form a neat line). I decided to wait and see when everyone could board simply because I was very early for my own appointment.
A small electric truck with a flat bed and labeled "porter service" drove into the train station (which has a big, glass roof, but is otherwise open to the outdoors) towards the crowd, stopped by a young man wearing headphones who was facing away from the truck. Silently the truck waited. A woman about my age moved herself and her suitcase out of the truck's way, giving its driver a big smile, as if to say, "See, I saw you and I'm helpful." The young man was still oblivious to the machinery behind him. The headphones were blocking the subtle sound of the electric engine. I thought to myself that if the woman really wanted to be helpful, she should have tugged the young man's sleeve and alerted him. Something finally made him turn, and the porter could move on.

Ten minutes late, the man in the red shirt got to move the chain aside and the passengers quickly moved towards the two trains waiting for them.

As I was leaving, the red-shirted "i" man had taken a seat off to the side and had hailed one of the conductors who had been on on of the delaying trains. I heard him ask what the hold up had been, but was not close enough to hear the softer-voiced conductor's answer. And I was moving by now, on my way to another treatment.
The acupuncture is getting interesting, by the way. Now, if my stomach gets upset, my shoulder hurts. Heh.

Sep 6, 2009

Returning a favor

After Protege turned me on to Anggun via the hauntingly beautiful "Snow on the Sahara", I decided it was time for payback. Oddly, both Protege and I felt lost during the 90's musically, but there were gems then, too. "All I Need" (from Air's album "Moon Safari") is from the same year as Anggun's song - 1997. I hope you like this, Protege!

Sep 5, 2009

Shooting (for) the moon

The latest activity to capture the interest of the fringe and lunatics (never was that description more apt) is the fact that NASA/the US is going to set off a nuclear bomb and blast our dear Luna out of its orbit.

Following the sage advice of others to consider Google my friend (though there are some that would disagree even with that), I have found what the current paranoid hoopla is about: It is the LCROSS mission, which is about finding water on the moon, to see if the moon can support a human space station there.

NASA intends to shoot (or crash) a missile into the moon. Some people believe "missile" only means something loaded with explosives, and nuclear ones are the most likely. That has led some people to interpret this as not only damaging the moon, but as damaging it so much it would shift in its orbit or its shape would be changed forever. The truth is, it's all just simple mechanics and physics, and no nukes: Slam something hard enough into the ground and it'll kick up dirt. (Interestingly, the missile is named Centaur. Perhaps that's why it grabbed this Sagittarian's attention.)

What's really happening is akin to getting a shot in the arm, except we want to draw a bit of blood. The idea is to have a strong enough impact that any water in the ground would show up in the impact dust as water vapor. That is what the scientists want to see and measure. That is why we're shooting the moon. We want to, once again, shoot for the moon. Actually leave some folks up there. But we'll need a local source of water. As before, whenever humans went anywhere, we stayed only if we found a local source of water.

My initial reaction, too, was what the heck are they trying to do now? But after reading the mission description, I'm all for it. I'm all for space exploration. As NASA says in its own presskit:

By going to the moon, a new generation of explorers will learn how to work safely in a harsh environment. The moon is a stepping stone to future exploration of other bodies in our solar system and offers many clues about when the Earth and the other planets were formed.

The magic date: October 9, 11:30 GMT. NASA will televise for those of us without telescopes (10" or better) or a view of the moon.

Sep 2, 2009

Another layer off the onion

Another day, another needle.

My acupuncturist did say I'd feel something after the third time, and she was right. I definitely felt like she'd peeled away a few layers and new ones were now coming to the surface to be taken care of.

After hunting around on the 'net, I have come to realize that I do have "frozen shoulder". It may even be hormonally related since so many women my age get it. Very well. That sort of thing acupuncture can deal with. In the meantime, I found a series of short videos with exercises to do to stretch and strengthen the joint. The problem won't go away on its own. I have to help. As I said to my acupuncturist, I'll take care of the outside, if she'll take care of the inside. She said it was a deal.

But, boy, do I miss my yoga! So I whipped out my mat and a DVD and did a relaxing routine. In fact, so relaxing, I wished I'd thought to do everything else I want to do this evening first. Oh, well. I'm a bit short on sleep this week, so I may as well go to bed early. And since my arm is still feeling the exercise I did yesterday (maybe I should stick to these, approved by my physical therapist, for the time being), and that means I'll probably take a pain reliever before bed. So I won't know whether or not the new points my acupuncturist used today (one was in the top of my head) did what I asked: Strengthen the shoulder, manage the pain and give me a good night's sleep.

Wordless Wednesday - Installed!