For everyone not just seniors the following activities are really great and might charge your brain and keep it going on what I call high power instead of low
Travel the World
with Pamposh Dhar
Music, Dance, and Art in the Heart of Europe
However, most of what you see in Vienna today dates back to the much later Habsburg dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was during this
period that Vienna became the cultural hub of Europe.
Stefansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) dominates the old cobbled city which is enclosed within a circular road called simply the Ring. The cathedral’
s one tall spire offers a wonderful view of the old city. The oldest remaining parts of the cathedral date back to the 13th century.
Many of the beautiful old buildings along the Ring were largely rebuilt after the Second World War, but in their original style. Among these are the
famous opera houses (Staatsoper for the more stately operas and Volksoper for the lighter operettas), Parliament, and the town hall. The town hall
incidentally is called Rathaus – pronounced raat house, Rat being German for counsel or advice. Also along the Ring is the Imperial Hotel, from the
balcony of which Adolf Hitler addressed the people of Vienna after Austria’s annexation to Germany in 1938.
Before the dark days of annexation and war, Vienna was a city full of music and art. The beautiful Secession building was built to house the bold
new styles of the Jugendstil, the Austrian counterpart of the art nouveau movement in France. The movement was founded in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries by the likes of Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner in rebellion against the prevailing conservatism in art and architecture. The
basement of the Secession building has wall paintings by Klimt. Many of Klimt’s other paintings – most famously The Kiss – can be seen at the
Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
The Belvedere is among three palaces in Vienna. The official residence of the Habsburg rulers was the Hofburg, on the edge of the old city. But
more stunning than that is the Schönbrunn, their summer palace. It was built by Emperor Leopold I in the 17th century as a hunting lodge, with over
1,400 rooms! Austria’s much-loved Empress Maria Theresia had it expanded and redecorated in French Rococo style in the 18th century. The
palace’s prominent visitors included Napoleon, who married Maria Theresia’s grand-daughter Marie Louise (as his second wife).
There is much more to explore in Vienna, including the famous museum of art history, with paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and Titian, a quite
amazing salt cellar by Cellini, and barely noticeable but beautiful frescos by Klimt in the corners of the building; the Albertina gallery with lovely
drawings by Dürrer and Rubens; and Hundertwasserhaus, a truly unique building bursting with colour.
For pictures and a blog tour of Vienna, please visit: http://wanderingpam.blogspot.com/2009/03/orient-express-stop-vienna.html
Tips to Keep your mind and Brain Active:
These are some ways you can help keep your mind alert and hopefully delay memory loss. Some of the research I have done on MInd and Brain
stimulating Activities lists these are some ways to keep your brain active and from turning to mush.
2. Board games
Crossword puzzles: some with categories
Math puzzles and word scrambles
Cognitive function skills that involve reasoning, problem solving and memory
Concentration is a great card game
Bingo with words and numbers
Jigsaw puzzles are great
Chess or checkers
Group interaction games
The Wii, which combines mental and physical activity. Personally I love the bowling. It is great for eye-hand coordination.
Dancing is great and dance instruction
Socializing in groups/ book clubs and dances
Canaster and other games even poker
anagrams and cryptograms
The main thought behind mentally stimulating games is to slow down, according to an article in Boomers: Stimulating Mind and Brain Games for
Seniors, the degeneration of neurotransmitters and to increase growth of new brain cells. Brain cells do develop and grow during every stage from
birth until death. According to this article the brain is always and continually learning new skills, tasks and activities and is on of the best ways to
keep the mind active.
Writing TIps to help you remember
keep a journal or log of things you want to do each day
Try going to the supermarket without a list and see how many things you can remember on that list even if you have to go to each department: hide
the list in your bag or pocket and take it out only as a last resort
Do not use your phone book to find a number try and remember important phone numbers without having to look them up
Hobbies are fun: try something simple : Knit something easy and see if you can knit or crochet the same thing without the instructions the second
Take long walks and try and retrace your steps without having to write down the directions.
Just a few challenges to keep you alert and on your toes
|The thoughts of Mary Magdalene
by Glenn Bear Smith
I am Mary Magdalene and I watched numbly. The good and gentle man who hung on the center cross had been my friend. I thought he was the
Messiah. Now, what could I believe—he was dying.
The thief being crucified next to Jesus turned to him. I strained to hear as the man murmured, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your
Jesus’ words to the condemned man echoed clearly, across the hilltop; “Today, you’ll be with me in Paradise.” A chill tingled down my spine. Even
at death, Jesus kept on forgiving. My thoughts surged back to the first time I had met him.
I had grown up in the village of Magdala seven miles south of Capernaum along the Sea of Galilee. I was wealthy; my family fortune was made in
the local? wool-dying industry. Yet, I was unhappy. I was no stranger to the oppression and torment of the evil one. Often driven to compulsive,
destructive acts, I despised myself, hated my deeds, but could not seem to stop. Disgusted with my erratic behavior, my husband sent me back
home to my father.
My money relieved me from household chores; however, I roamed the lakeshore as I pleased. A young village lad told me of the Nazarene
teaching in the fields north of Capernaum. I was off to investigate.
This man radiated such good news. “The kingdom of God was right here,” he said. He talked of forgiveness, of cleansing, of wholeness. The sick
and the maimed; were healed when he touched them. God seemed to be all around. Even the tormented, like me, were being set free. At Jesus’
command demons would come out screaming, as lives were liberated and transformed.
I felt a nameless terror within me. Could I trust him? I had to force myself to join the group that crowded around Jesus. Finally, my turn came at last.
I looked up and panicked. He looked down with love. Then his eyes narrowed and seemed to pierce right into my soul. He commanded, “Come out
of her you foul demons, and let her go!” My body stiffened; my chest tightened. I thought I would burst. I wanted to scream. Perhaps I did.
When it was over, my muscles began to relax. I saw his gentle smile. “Mary,” he said, “You are forgiven and you are free,” I was free as well. I felt so
clean, so light; I wanted to dance and sing. I jumped up and started hugging all the startled women who stood near by.
I almost skipped home that night. Even my father marveled because I had been tormented such a long time, and that now I was at peace. I spent
my days with the multitudes surrounding Jesus, using my money to purchase food for Him and His disciples. My compassion and hope overflowed,
especially for the women and children who needed help. Sometimes I would introduce these desperate ones to the Lord.
An aching cry from the cross suddenly jerked me back to the present. My Lord was dying.
I listened through my tears. The voice that once proclaimed God’s kingdom on the hillside of Galilee now proclaimed hoarsely, “It is finished!” His
head dropped to his chest. Thunderclouds, which had been gathering ominously, all after noon, exploded. Lightening cracked across the
gruesome scene on the hilltop; the earth shook. Jesus’ body hung limply as the others writhed. Around me, I could hear the sobbing of Jesus’
mourners. I took one long last look then buried my face and wept.
As a soldier began to loosen the nail that fixed Jesus’ feet to the cross, two others on ladders unlashed the crossbeam from the upright and
carefully lowered it to their compatriots below.
Now I recognized Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, two new disciples, carrying a stretcher onto which they placed his body. I steadied the litter
until we came to Joseph’s nearby tomb. In the courtyard outside the sepulcher, I carefully helped wash His pale body.
Night was falling. Nicodemus and Joseph worked quickly; binding the body with long strips of linen, enfolding what few spices they had with them.
Their task completed, they tenderly laid the body on a limestone niche in the new tomb. I watched as they rolled the massive stone into place,
across the opening into the tomb. It was dark when we finally turned to leave.
The Sabbath seemed as if it would never end. Despite the pain, I was determined to return Sunday morning to finish anointing the Master’s body
with spices and oils and wrapped His body. I owed him that.
Saturday’s sun finally dipped behind the hills. Sabbath was over. Sleep that night came in brief snatches. Long before sunup, I was dressed and
met two other women I had asked to help me. Azure dawn streaked the dawn sky as we set out. Hurrying along, Salome whispered, “Who’ll move
“Oh, the stone!” I said exclaimed. I had not thought of that. As we came in sight of the tomb, I gasped. The stone had been rolled a side, “Grave
robbers! Why can’t they leave him alone even in death?” I cried.
I ran until I found Peter and John. “They’ve taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb." I said breathlessly. "We don’t know where they have taken him.”
Peter and John quickly ran toward the tomb. I was so tired I could not go any further and slowly trudged back to the garden tomb. Where else could
I go? By the time, I finally arrived at the tomb. Peter and John had been there and had gone back to the city.
The other women had waited. Together we peered into the darkness of the tomb. Only coiled shroud wrappings remained where the body had
lain. Suddenly the tomb was lit up by the dazzling appearance of two men. Instinctively we shielded our eyes from the brightness and bowed in
One of the men we supposed to be angels spoke.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
I wondered what he meant. What was he talking about, the living among the dead?
He said, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said.”
We were dazed even after the angels left. Salome finally said, “We must tell the disciples what we have seen at once.”
At the garden’s edge I stopped, “Please wait," I begged. "I need to stay remain here for just a few more minutes longer.”
I sat down trying to make sense of it all. How could Jesus be alive? I had washed the body myself. It was just too good to be true. Could I cling to
something this wonderful only to have my hopes of His resurrection dashed once more? If it were true, that would mean he was then he was the
Messiah after all. If it were true, then the one who healed my tormented spirit had conquered death itself. If it were true, I glanced up as the sound
of footsteps intruded on my thoughts. It must be the caretaker or the gardener.
“Women, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Did he not know who was buried here? “Sir, if you took away his body, please tell me
where you taken it so I can put it back.” there was no answer. So He did not know.
“Mary.” It was Jesus. I whirled and looked up into his face. “Rabboni! Teacher!” I dropped to my knees and worshipped at his feet. Jesus, my Lord,
was alive, very alive; alive forever.
“I have seen the Lord,” Mary told the disciples.
They were cynical. “Mary why would the Lord appear to you anyhow, a woman, and one with your history?”
“Why indeed?” I wondered later. Oh, he had appeared. He did appear to his disciples later that same day; but I had been the first. Maybe to show
that he really accepted me or to prove his forgiveness was forever. I was never sure; but one thing I do know is that my Redeemer lives.
Thye Most Happy
We are still so addicted to this woman who lived over four hundred years ago because she is forever shrouded in mystery. There are so many
unanswered questions concerning her life and the turbulent times in which she lived that she has become an enigma; serving as a touchstone for
every student freshly discovering her for the very first time whether it be within the pages of a book, a class lecture, a painting hanging in a
museum, a movie or a popular Showtime Television Show!
Everyone believes they can figure out the pieces to the puzzle and come up with the answers to the questions that history has left us but the truth
is we will never know who she really was, why she truly married Henry VIII, or how much British history would have been altered forever had she
been blessed enough to give birth to a son in addition to her only daughter Elizabeth I who became one of the longest reigning queens of England.
No matter what is said about Anne Boleyn she left one of the greatest legacies a woman could leave and that is her daughter Elizabeth.
By Kimberly Eve
I firmly believe Anne Boleyn stood out to Henry VIII not only for her rumoured beauty but because she was unlike
any British born woman he had ever met. This is partly the reason why she is still being talked about to this day.
During her adolescent years, Anne Boleyn was groomed and educated in the Netherlands and France by three
very influential women: Archduchess Margaret of Austria, Henry VIII’s sister Margaret Tudor, who was betrothed to
French King Louis XII of France, and Queen Claude of France. She served as a maid of honor or junior attendant
but not yet a lady-in-waiting. By the time she returned to England and met Henry VIII she was every bit a French
She was a walking, talking contradiction of what a Sixteenth Century woman was supposed to be. She was up on
the latest politics of the day and had no qualms about taking part in political debates with both sexes no matter
their status. She was very well read and often took it upon herself to recommend the religious books of the day to
her husband, King Henry VIII, when she felt her influence was needed without being viewed as a threat given that
they practiced separate religions i.e. Henry was Protestant and Anne was Catholic.
Although, she knew her place, she rarely kept silent. Standing her ground and not backing down on the important
issues of the day. Her influence was strongly felt amongst Henry VIII’s Privy Council during their courtship as well
as during their short lived marriage which was the beginning of her downfall.
|The Legacy of Elizabeth I
“It would please me best if, at the last, a marble stone shall record that this Queen having lived such and such a
time, lived and died a virgin”.
I admire Elizabeth I as a woman who grew up for the most part a motherless child. She was born to a father who
became one of the longest reigning Kings of England. Constantly having to prove herself more than able and
worthy of being Queen of England; juxtaposed with having to fight the stigma of Anne Boleyn and what it meant to
be her daughter. She carried the legacy of the Tudor dynasty on her shoulders during her forty-five year reign
(1558-1603) and seventy year old life (1533-1603). What that must have been like one can only speculate.
It seems more than obvious to me that growing up with the knowledge and understanding of a father who marries,
divorces, and beheads, six wives including your own mother, does not make one eager for marriage. Even though,
Elizabeth I understood the importance of marriage as a queen, she obviously never deemed it important enough to
claim a husband hence one of her titles ‘the virgin queen’. You have to admire her forthrightness and courage to
stand her ground as a female first and foremost. Ah, she is her mother’s daughter after all!
Throughout her reign, Parliament petitioned her to marry or nominate an heir to prevent civil war upon her death. She refused to do either. She kept this
question open using it as a diplomatic ploy. Instead saying in 1563, “If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this beggar-woman and single, far rather
than queen and married".
As a result, Parliament viewed her failure to marry as irresponsibility on her part. However, Elizabeth's silence strengthened her own political security. She
understood that if she named an heir, her throne would then be vulnerable to a coup.
The romantic in me believes that the love of her life will always be childhood friend Robert Dudley. They became good friends when Elizabeth was just a
princess during the year 1557-1558. She was so fond of him she gave him his first title, ‘Master of the Horse’ or ‘Horsemen’. In 1558, upon the passing of
her half-sister Mary Tudor, she became Queen of England. A year later, in April 1559, one of her first royal duties was to give Robert Dudley the second
title of ‘Knight of the Garter’ or ‘knightood’. This was a way to keep the now Lord Robert Dudley near her even though he was a not so happily married
man. They could be together romantically but still maintain the charade of friendship. Their intimacy soon was talk in court, country and abroad. Even
though she promised to marry him, during two of his marriages’, she never did; fearing a political uprising. Robert Dudley forever kept a special place in
her heart. After Elizabeth's death, a note from him was found amongst her most personal belongings, marked "his last letter" in her own handwriting.
Robert Dudley died in 1588 shortly after the Spanish Armada.
The Elizabethan Era is associated with Queen Elizabeth I’s reign (1558–1603) and is often considered to be the golden age in English history. It was the
height of the English Renaissance which saw the abundance of English poetry, theatre, music and literature. For example, The Faerie Queene by poet
Edmund Spenser was written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I. She appears most prominently as Gloriana or the Faerie Queene herself. Largely symbolic,
the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues. It hints at a connection between the Tudor dynasty and King Arthur.
Elizabeth I was the first Tudor to recognize that a monarch ruled by popular consent. She worked with Parliament and advisers she could trust to tell her
the truth in a way that her Stuart successors failed to follow. Some historians have called her lucky in that she believed that God was protecting her.
Referring to herself as being "mere English", she trusted in God, honest advice, and the love of her subjects for the success of her rule. In a prayer, she
offered thanks to God saying, “when wars and seditions with grievous persecutions have vexed almost all kings and countries round about me, my reign
hath been peacable, and my realm a receptacle to thy afflicted Church. The love of my people hath appeared firm, and the devices of my enemies
Above all, Elizabeth I loved her mother whom she lost so tragically at the age of two and a half. She always wore a bejewelled locket ring on the finger of
her left hand. When she died, her men removed and inspected her jewels. When the locket ring was opened, two miniature portraits were painted on either
side: one of her mother Anne Boleyn and one of herself.
By Kimberly Eve
|General Ways To Protect Yourself From Snoops, Thieves and Apparatchiki’s
By Don Hagelberg
The following list is one which covers potential threats to you security like the pattern of a discharging shotgun: broad enough to cover a large
target and yet powerful enough to remain on target.
A) Do not choose the same password for all computer accounts: different words for different accounts.
B) Keep a list of the passwords in a safe place away from the computer or unlocked desk.
C) Create your passwords so that they are at least:
a. Ten characters long;
b. Uses: letters, capitals and small;
c. Uses: numbers and special characters;
d. Does not use autobiographical data in easy ways.
D) Try not to give out either your full birth date: Month/Day/Year/ or your Social Security Number, let alone your full address on any publically
appearing biography. This includes Social Appliances such as FACEBOOK etcetera. [This protects you against crooks of convenience from
applying with the greatest of ease for credit cards in YOUR name at another address.]
E) Do not put into any “check-in” baggage, any items of value. The chances climb higher and higher that valuables which you “check-in” for
the baggage compartment of the plane, ship, train or bus, will be pilfered. If you hold onto the valuables and take them with you by hand, the
chances fall that they will be stolen from you.
F) Contact one of the three existing credit reporting agencies once every four months. [You are allowed to receive one FREE report each year
from each of the three agencies.] Make it a NEW HABIT. You look good in the “black” of a new “habit” so do it religiously. Besides it is nicer to be in
the “black” than in the “red.”
P.O. Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
(800) 916-8800 or (800) 888-4213
Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
Questions and concerns about consumer reporting agencies can be directed to:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center - FCRA
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
For information on organizations that help with credit counseling, contact:
National Foundation for Consumer Credit
8611 Second Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
H) You have the right
1- To be treated with respect.
2- To say no and not feel guilty.
3- To experience and express my feelings.
4- To take time for myself.
5- To change my mind.
6- To ask for what I want.
7- To make mistakes.
8- To ask for information.
9- To do less than I am humanly capable of.
10- To feel good about myself.
11- To act only in ways that promote my dignity and self respect as long as others are not violated in the process.
[These eleven items of striving for a healthy emotional life while surrounded by co-dependence have been passed from hand to hand in recovery
meetings, but I have not been able to trace down the source responsible for so cogently expressing them.]
Try not to give important facts to Social Appliances and biographies which will appear in public.
Try not to give your full birth date to the general public
Try not to give the same important material out in other ways:
Three Credit Reporting Agencies:
|NIGHT OF THE GYPSY
by K. E. Rigley
Muttering to herself, Marise carefully wrapped up her crystal ball as a flash of lightning illuminated the tent. Why had they
come to this forsaken place? Certainly not for the money. She tucked the few coins she had earned this day into her money
pouch, then she shivered with a sense of foreboding. The thunder crashed, rolling and ricocheting across the night skies while
rain pelted the canvas barrier between the fortune teller and the elements.
As the wild thunderstorm raged through the night, the door flapped open and a rain-drenched, young woman burst inside,
gasping, “Please, help me.” Heart-shaped face, pale and stricken with panic, her petite frame was cloaked in black and her raven
hair tumbled over her shoulders, dripping wet. “My baby and I are in danger.”
Only then did Marise noticed the bundle cradled against the young woman’s black cloak. Tears welled in the young woman’s
startling sapphire blue eyes. For a moment, Marise stood speechless, staring at her sudden guests.
“We need help.” With haunted eyes pleading, young mother looked frightened as a deer caught in the glare of headlights. “They’
ll kill me and my infant.”
“Now, child,” Marise comforted. “There’s no one here but us.”
“If they find me. . .” A sob escaped as she continued, “I must save my baby.”
“You’re safe here.” Marise sensed a dark mist surrounding the young mother. It disturbed her deeply, but there was no way she’
d ask the mother and baby to leave.
“We have no time. I must divert them and lead them far away.” She thrust her sleeping baby into Marise’s arms. “Take her for
me, please. Go with your Gypsy caravan and I’ll find you when it’s safe.”
“You both should come with us.” Marise tried to return the babe, but the young woman backed away.
Lips trembling, she cried softly, “Goodbye, Serena, my sweet angel. Mama will be back.” Then she whirled out the tent and into
the storm whipped night.
The warm bundle in Marise’s arms wiggled. Thoughts swirling, she parted the blanket to uncover the baby’s face. The infant
gazed up at her with those same sapphire blue eyes and black fringy lashes.
Cooing at the little one, Marise smoothed the downy raven curls. “Now what do I do with you, tiny beauty?”
As she shifted the child, a gold bracelet, folded note and roll of money fell from the blanket. One-handed, Marise straightened
the note and read: “My sweet Serena, if you are reading this one day, it means I am dead. Know that I love you and willingly
sacrifice all that I am for your freedom and safety. Never try to trace your roots. It will only bring heartache and danger. You
can become whoever you wish to be. Now the world is yours, my angel. Lovingly, your mother, Kara.”
Beyond the tent in the rain-driven night, a sudden crack rang out. At that same moment a chill shook Marise deep into her
soul. She gazed down at the trusting infant cradled in her arms, whispering, “Hush, baby Serena, I promise you’ll stay safe with
Vienna – the very name conjures up sounds and images of music and dance, of fin de siecle art, of beautiful old buidings,
and of the Blue Danube, immortalized in Johann Strauss’s famous waltz. Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss have composed
music in this city; Klimt, Schiele and Hundertwasser have painted here. It is a city replete with art, culture, and history.
Vienna’s history dates back to a military camp set up in the city centre under the Roman empire in the first century.
Roman remains can be seen in old city just outside the Hofburg palace.
|From Tannia E. Ortiz-Lopés- "The Window to My Soul: My Walk with Jesus"
Hello you all:
As many of you all know, I enjoy taking pictures with my pocket digital camera. Well, I decided to do more than just take pics for our family photos
and adventured into the world of stock photography. After many rejections, learning, and perseverance, the Lord blessed me with a stock
photography agency that accepts also amateurs photographers photos, too. This agency name is: bigstockphoto.com. Those of you more
seasoned with the camera, I encourage you to learn more about this agency and see if it fits your pockets needs.
Some of you have asked me for the link to my pics. As per your request, here is the link. Of course, if you feel inspired to buy a one or two of my
pictures, you will be helping me.
Thanks for your support on this new path where the Lord is taking me.
|YOU ARE PERFECT BEING YOU
by Hemal Radia
Don't spend time justifying why you are where you are at now, don't blame the lover or the (ex) husband or the (ex) wife or parent or the business
partner or friend or whomever. Take your attention away from that, sooth any hurt around that, and put it towards WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
When your attention (and hence vibration and intention) is onwhere you want to be you are attracting experiences that match that. Initially it might
be something small that manifests that catches your attention and that makes you think, and then something else happens, and something else.
Your attention - your conscious attention - starts shifting towards it more and more, and your expectation builds; you expect it more and 'allow' it
into your life by being more and more from that place
And of course, if your attention is on those good things that are trickling in, what is your attention NOT on? Where you came from! 'The past'!
You wouldn't have time to think of where you came from because you'd be TOO BUSY ENJOYING THE
NOW!!!! Love and enjoy your NOW so much that you don't think about anywhere else and don't care about anywhere else, and everything will
take care of itself. Create and mould and shape your now. Take your attention away from what you are coming from and what you don’t want (that
in itself will create a huge shift) and naturally your attention will be drawn to those things in your now moment that you can love and appreciate and
In doing this you will be adopting all those spiritual principles that you'd been reading about for all that time and were figuring out how to implement:
detaching, letting go, allowing, creating, attracting and everything else. You will be applying ALL OF THOSE just by making the most of your now
moments. In you enJOYing each moment you are not being attached to what you want because your attention is on the now (detachment, letting
go), and because you are feeling good you are allowing, creating and attracting
Remember not to beat yourself up. It is ok if things happen (or happened) that aren't how you like them or want them to be. Sooth yourself around
that, sooth your vibration around that. If you give yourself a hard time for too long you are building THAT vibration (and then don't be surprised if
you attract matches to that via recrimination!)
So make peace with the way things are, that will soften your perspective to what you don't enjoy, it will create the space for what you DO enjoy and
your attention will naturally go there. As it goes there that will build - Law of Attraction - it will attract more thoughts that match that and it will grow
and grow and grow and you will see physical manifestations. If you do not contradict or doubt yourself along this process you will see more
physical manifestations and it will grow and build and build and build. It is loving your now moment but wanting to expand and grow more and have
Your now moment is as rich and abundant as you see it to be, and seeing that will show you more abundance. There is no corner or spot in the
Universe that is not abundant - the Universe is abundant EVERYWHERE - period! The Universe is not playing a game and has said that just for
you - just for you - it will withhold some of its abundance! It has not decided that just for kicks it will withhold it from you! The Universe adores you
as you are a part of it and it expands THROUGH you - if you win, it wins!
So be kind to yourself, know that there is abundance around you, today, and every day, where you are, and everywhere
In your kindness to yourself the Universe will match that, and you will see things around you, and it will get easier, you will see reflections of your
love for yourself and it will expand and grow
Remember to appreciate who you are, there is no coincidence you are here, you came here to do things and experience things. Appreciate you
are here to be you, and you are perfect the way you are
There is never within any of us such a thing as flaws or distortions other than the masks we have given
ourselves. Deep down from an energetic perspective you are actually 'perfect' other than the patterns you
have practiced to see yourself with over the years. You are essentially pure positive energy in a physical
form, you are the manifestation of that energy, and moment by moment you are deciding (whether
consciously or unconsciously) what the manifestation of that energy is in you being who you are
Your attention can be on the present, the past, the future, or wherever else. Regardless of where your
attention is your point of attraction is in your now moment. That is what you are attracting more of, whatever
your vibration - via your thoughts and emotions - is in your now moment
If your attention is on the lover that scorned you or if it is on the business partner that wasn’t so wonderful,
what are you attracting more of? Or if you haven’t experienced a ‘perfect lover’ but you are envisioning how it
might feel, and how it might feel to have your millions and what you will do with them and how your body will
feel being how you want it to be – although you may not have yet experienced these but in your now moment
you are envisioning them very clearly and deeply and feeling from them, what is your vibration and what are
you attracting more of?
|CONVERSATION ABOUT MONEY
by Hemal Radia
How come I’m not abundant?
Yes, how come you’re not?
Well...I don’t know, I’m just not, I don’t have much money/abundance....
Yes, why don’t you?
Well...I just don’t...
Have you ever wondered how you can be in an ocean AND NOT GET WET??
Well isn’t that what you are, the Universe is prosperous and abundant beyond what you could ever imagine, and you are in it, the last time we
checked you are a part of it, and you say you are not abundant, how do you do that?
Er....I don’t know?
By resisting. By resisting your natural birthright, by not letting it in. By thinking you don’t have enough, by thinking you don’t have it. By thinking
you are not good enough. By thinking about what others have and not feeling very good. By seeing what is on the TV and not feeling good about
what you have. By pining. By yearning. By thinking of scarcity. By thinking of recessions. By being scared of what might happen. By being
scared of what will happen. By thinking of how you never had enough. How you were never lucky or had a lot passed on...
By considering the work you are in and how you’ll never have enough. By thinking of where the money goes and how there isn’t enough left over.
By thinking of all the people making money and not feeling very good thinking about it. By thinking how if you had the money what you would do
with it...ah that’s a good thought, maybe that might get you more money..... but then you feel bad you don’t have it and say to yourself why even
consider what you might do with it because you don’t have it.
Want us to go on?
Ok....so how do I create money?
By thinking of what you will do with it. By thinking of how it feels. By realising that just like everything else in the Universe it is energy and it will flow
and be attracted by vibration JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE
By realising it will flow into and out of your life by your thoughts, and more importantly your feelings. It responds to your vibration, just like
everything else, including the cells in your body and in the Universe, they literally respond to you
Oftentimes your vibration is a mix and so the responses you get are a mix or not a clear signal, and then you wonder if all this stuff is really true
So how do you create or attract money? Think about the things you will do with it. The pound or dollar notes in and of themselves do not have
value for you, it is what you think they will get you, whether it be the items or physical experiences, but more so the essences and the EMOTIONAL
EXPERIENCES, whatever labels you choose, such as freedom, security, fun, etc.
What is more important than these specific labels is what they underly also, i.e. ‘Freedom to do what?’ Get the essences of that. ‘Security from
what? And if you had that Security what would you do?’ ‘And what sort of Fun? If you had Fun what would you be doing or what would it allow you
to do?’ HOW DO THEY FEEL? Your vibration is through your feelings. SUMMON WHAT YOU WANT through your feelings.
The Universe will respond, it always responds. Send it a clear pure message and it will respond and respond as quickly as the purity and emotional
intensity of your message, and before your eyes you will see the money and abundance flow in. And as you see it and notice it, you will start to see
it more and more, you will believe it, you will ‘allow’ it more, you will let it in more, your attention will be on what is coming than those previous
thoughts you had about it not coming. See the difference?
You create that reality in your mind. And then you see the trickle. And the trickle expands upon your attention to it. It cannot not. Just like a
magnifying glass, the focus leads to more. And more. There are no limits to what the Universe can bring your way other than what you let in. And
the thing is, you’re in the Universe, it’s all around you. EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS ALREADY AROUND YOU. IT IS ALL IN PLACE. How lined up
to it ARE YOU?
|ALLOWING MIRACLES BY LIVING FROM YOUR ‘PURPOSE’
by Hemal Radia
THE KEY IS HOW YOU FEEL
What you will find is one's purpose is joy, love, enjoyment, appreciation, fun etc - whatever words one wants to use here, the key is the essence,
the feeling, the vibration etc - and the FORM (the 'how') of it can be whatever, it can be being great at a sport, business, the arts, internet
marketing or whatever it may be. The form can be a range of things and it can vary throughout your life and as you choose, the common
denominator is HOW IT FEELS. That is when you know you are connected to your true purpose.
When you are in a relationship and it 'feels right' or a job or work that 'feels right' or something else that 'feels right' then you are on the path of
your purpose, and that can be whatever you want it to be, so long as you have a clear vibration about it - i.e. you do not contradict it, your
indication is through your feelings.
The terms 'Purpose' and 'Mission' etc have been banded around for many years, what you will find is that when someone feels something is their
purpose...it FEELS a certain way, that is the key. The form - the details, the 'how' - of the purpose can change, just as you are ever growing and
ever changing, and as the Universe is abundant and has choice and freewill, you can make anything your purpose, it feeling good is the indication
of your alignment to it. The better it feels the more in song you are with it.
When you are in alignment – and you can call it being on the path of your purpose, or whatever terminology you'd like to use – the Universe
orchestrates itself and will provide the resources you need to have and be what you need to do. The Universe does not mind what you do, but
when you are in alignment with yourself you will expand powerfully and see physical manifestations and the Universe will be your best friend in
making sure the road ahead is fine to take you to where you want to go, and if not the Universe will give you signs to take detours that can get you
IT'S ABOUT THE JOY AND THE PROCESS
The implication of the word 'purpose' suggests it has to be an end result, that's not necessarily the case in how we are talking about it although it is
part of the process, part of the mix. When someone paints a beautiful painting the fun is in the painting of it, when someone is with the love of their
life the magic is in the moment. When someone has a child the joy is in the process of it than intending the child to live to a 100 (end result), your
joy is in the process of being with your child.
When you have goals, whilst the goal is an end result, your real purpose is your joy and process in creating it, including the contrast and the
challenges you experience and how you expand and grow - including vibrationally - as a result. So it's not just about the end result and how quick
you get there and in what style.
Everything you go through, whatever detours or dead-ends you take and however challenging it may be, or even easy as it may be, is 'perfect' and
part of the journey, it is all adding to your development and there is nothing that you do that is 'wasted', it is all adding to your vibration in attracting
what you want. Even when you are frustrated and disappointed in the short term, in those moments your desire for what you want is amongst its
strongest, you are hungriest in that moment and your vibration has expanded, and when you get back on the road in terms of your alignment and
feeling better and better you improve your alignment and harmony with the Universe and from a more powerful place vibrationally.
YOU WILL LITERALLY SEE MIRACLES AROUND YOU
So know that whatever you do is fine, it's part of the journey, and as you head towards better and better feeling thoughts, experiences and
moments, you are lining up to the magic within yourself and the Universe around you. As you align to that harmony, to that magic, you will literally
see miracles happen around you. All the miracles you have ever heard of have all been in this category, there is no difference. And you have
access to it a step at a time from wherever you are, right now.
Just start with something that feels a bit inspired, and then do something else from there, and something else from there, and so on. And within a
few steps – whilst it may seem 'only' a few steps – vibrationally you are already exponentially so far away from where you started, and the
momentum is powerfully towards where you want to go. Each progressive step is bigger and more powerful as each one builds on the vibrational
platforms created by the previous steps.
Realise that you may think there are logical steps to what you want and 'logically' it may seem far away, but when you take the vibrational steps as
mentioned here you are taking EXPONENTIALLY LARGE STEPS. You may have thought 'How will I achieve this?' but when you line up to what feels
good and to 'You' – the spiritual part of you by what feels good – you are in synch with the Universe and you see the synchronicities and
You could for example be in a lift with someone who is looking for something that you are offering and it just 'happens' to be a perfect fit for both of
you. You see the coincidences and the synchronicities happen, and in your excitement and 'allowing' you are letting in more and more of them and
you are letting in more of your flow.
When you are in tune with your 'purpose' all sorts of things will open up for you. The Universe is always your friend, though now you are in tune
with it and working side by side and all sorts of synchronicities and apparent 'chance happenings' and ideas and inspirations will naturally come
through, AND THIS IS THE NATURAL FLOW. Also it won't feel like 'work' because it's 'fun'.
Sometimes people can have a belief of "Can I really do that, as it 'feels like too much fun'", allow yourself to follow what feels good, that is the sign
from the Universe, even if it doesn't immediately make rational sense, but it IS getting you in tune with You and everything else.
When you tune into your love and fun and enjoyment and so on you are in tune with what you came here to do
|Sharp as a Tack or Scrambled Eggs: Which Describes Your Brain?
by Fran Lewis
Many people fall into routines, which require that they do the same thing the same way everyday. They get up, go to work perform the same job
and read the same types of books never changing anything. When they are forced to vary from their routines some people often find it difficult if
not impossible. People not just seniors who take part in different things each day and vary their activities give their minds a chance to workout and
may reduce the possibility or risk of getting dementia.
According to a study led by a research team by Tasnime Akbaraly 5700 people over the age of 65 who lived in senior communities and participated
in many physical and social activities only 161 developed some form of dementia. The team classified the various activities into four areas. They
were stimulating, passive, physical and social.
The team after looking at the data learned that seniors who did mentally stimulating activities like crossword puzzles, art, card playing and attended
with shows or movies had a 50% reduced risk for developing dementia if they engaged in these activities at least twice a week.
There are so many ways we can keep our minds and body active and from going to mush. I realize that there is much research out there but there
is nothing like asking people what they do in order to keep active besides their job or sitting in front of the television set and watching old movies.
I took a walk this morning for about an hour and felt totally invigorated when I came back. I even took the stairs half way up in order to continue and
try and strength my leg muscles. Reading and reviewing books written by other authors keeps my mind alert and really on target. Some of the
books that I have been reading are totally different from what I would normally take out of the library of buy in the bookstore. Some of the books are
medical, self-help, murders, metaphysical, true crime and more. There are times I have done research based on the topic or content of a book in
order to understand what the author has written and what his/her message might be. But, there are so many other ways to keep your mind active
and alert. That is the purpose of writing this book and hopefully helping you and other readers keep your minds from going to mush.
YOU CAN DO THIS: TAKE TIME OUT FOR YOUR BRAIN! IT WON’T DESSERT YOU!
What About Mom?
A SHORT STORY BY E. J. RUEK
James Warfield watched his son stalk down the corridor, the sharp click-clicking of his heels puncturing the quiet. A smell of stale beer and
Susan Lee, his secretary, looked toward him, eyes all sympathy. "Everything's signed," she said. "I'll drop the paperwork off at the courthouse
James nodded, gave her a grateful smile, then retreated back into his office. From the far corner, little Jimmy watched him, his small, thin body stiff
and ramrod erect. The child's hands gripped the arms of a chair that was too big for him, his face stark white with holes for eyes and mouth, a
blackened, pulpy bruise upon his cheek. "Do I have to go home?" the boy asked.
"No, you don't. You're coming to live with me and Grandma now," James answered.
"What about Mom?"
He didn't have the heart to tell the boy. Not yet.
Heavy eyelids made James long for home and a nap, but the day's appointments denied that solace. He had one in less than twenty minutes, then
a lunch date with a new client and her contract negotiator. "I'm going to have Grandma come pick you up," he said.
"I want to stay here."
James nodded. How could he tell the boy that children didn't mix with business? He couldn't. "Okay," he said. "But we'll have to get you a shower
and some clothes, okay?"
"In there," James pointed, "is a bathroom with a shower. Think you can get yourself cleaned up?"
Little Jimmy nodded and slipped carefully down from the big chair, not letting go his death grip until his tattered tennis shoes touched the carpet.
Then he padded over and gave James a hug.
"Off you go, then. Try not to get your clothes wet. You have to wear them again."
When the boy closed the door, James buzzed the inter-office line. "Susan, I need to take Jimmy down to get some decent clothes and shoes. Can
you ask George if he'd see my next appointment?"
"George is right here. Let me ask him."
There was a muffled exchange, and, moments later, George's voice boomed out, "I'd be glad to, Mr. Warfield."
James thanked him, already lost in plans. The boy would need a trust fund. He would need to be enrolled in school. The guest room would have
to be refurnished....
About fifteen minutes later, Jimmy emerged, the grime and dirty tear streaks gone. "Let me see your hands," James said, and frowned at the
ragged, dirty fingernails. "Let's go back in the bathroom. Let me get those nails cleaned up."
"But it hurts," Jimmy said, a frown wrinkling his forehead.
James shook his head. "I promise it won't."
A big sigh answered him.
Back in the bathroom, James picked up the dirty, soggy towels the boy had used to try to wipe the wet off the floor. He put them in the small
hamper hidden in the linen closet and pulled two new ones out. "Okay," he said. He put the toilet seat down. "Sit right there."
From the drawer, he pulled out a manicure set. From beneath the sink, he pulled a plastic wash basin, then filled it with warm water, mixing in a bit
of liquid soap. "There, now. Put your hands in there."
"Because that's the way we do this," James said.
"It's gonna hurt."
The boy's face was solemn...resigned. James shook his head. "No. It might feel funny, but it won't hurt. See?" James zipped the point of the file
under one of his own nails.
"Mine are smaller."
"I know. I'll be careful."
The boy was tense as James worked the grime loose, but relaxed once the task was done, actually giggling when James carefully dried each finger,
then filed the rough spots off the tiny nails. "There," he said, pushing himself off the tile with one hand. His knees hurt.
"Did you do this for Dad when he was little?"
James nodded. "Or Grandma did. Until your dad was old enough to do it for himself."
"When was that?"
James shook his head. "I don't quite remember. Older than you, I think."
"I bet I could do it."
"Yes, I suppose you might. Let's comb that hair, shall we?"
"Now what?" Jimmy asked while James parted and combed.
Wincing when he saw the welts on the boy's scalp, James said, "Now we go get some new togs."
"What about Mom?"
"Let's talk about Mom later, okay?"
In the car, James had to remind the boy to sit in back and buckle up. He needed to get one of those fancy booster seats for children. "We're going
to stop at a clothing store, then go get a car seat for you," he said, glancing in the rear view.
The boy was preoccupied, watching out the window.
At Gerald's, James drove down the alley and turned into the back parking lot. "This way," he said, opening the back door.
"Are you dumping me?"
James frowned. "No. What would give you that idea?"
Jimmy didn't answer, but he was too quiet. "Come on. This way," James said, again, taking the small hand in his. That hand was chilled.
Inside, Lonnie spotted them and came over. "Mr. Warfield. What a pleasure. What can we do for you today?"
"A full outfitting for this young man," James said. "Bottom to top. And he'll need a suit today. Off the rack is fine. And dress shoes. We're meeting
clients for lunch in just over an hour."
The clerk nodded and, kneeling down, pulled a tape from his pocket and measured arm, waist, and leg. "About a size four," he said. "I'll be right
Forty-five minutes later, the boy was properly outfitted, from play clothes to dress togs. Jimmy was all grins. James paid the bill, slipping a tip to
Lonnie. "Thanks," he said.
"Where to, now, Grandpa? Can we go get Mom?"
James quelled a sigh. "One stop, then lunch," he said. "Then we'll talk about Mom, okay?"
The stop was for the booster seat which James couldn't figure out and had to get the store clerk's help to install it.
"Why can't I ride with you in front?" Jimmy asked.
"Because the law says you're safer in back in case we get in a wreck," James answered.
"Mom always lets me ride in front."
"Here we are," James said, parking.
Inside, the host didn't blink but once when James indicated there would be a fourth and introduced Jimmy. Leading them to their table, the man
brought a taller chair for the boy. James ordered himself tonic water and got the boy a fruit fizzler.
"What is it?" Jimmy asked, squinting at the bubbling drink.
"Try it," James said, smiling. "If you don't like it, you can get something else."
The boy loved it, of course–sweet, rich with cream, and fruity with the tingle of carbonation. James' new client arrived, the lawyer with her talking
business even before they sat down. "My grandson, James Warfield, the Third," James said, interrupting them to introduce the boy.
"Pleased, of course," the lawyer said, giving a curt nod to the child as she pulled out a chair and settled in. "Now about that contract, James... ."
"Hello, young man," the client, a Zondra Mellington, said, looking Jimmy in the face. That pleased James.
Jimmy smiled back, a quirky little half-smile. "Hi," he said, shyness making his voice all but inaudible.
The lawyer talked on, not even pausing, pulling sheets of paper from her briefcase. "We'd like these changes to lines...."
Despite the boy eating with his hands, lunch went relatively well. The boy ate ravenously, though, even to eating the garnish, and that bothered
James. He approved most of the changes the solicitor desired, clauses that he'd expected her to object to, but, focusing his mind on business,
refused others. Some they negotiated and came to a compromise. By the end of the meeting, the boy eating a small dish of ice cream, the lawyer
seemed pleased, Zondra likewise. They set up the signing for the next day.
"Grandpa? Can I go to the bathroom?"
James nodded and stood. "I'll be right back," he said to his guests. "Order us some drinks? I'll take a tonic. Jimmy here will have another fizzler."
"That was boring," Jimmy said as James held him up so he could wash his hands after using the toilet.
"It was boring, wasn't it? It's how I can afford to buy you clothes and lunch, though."
"Okay. Was I quiet enough?"
"You were great," he said, and smiled. "But you don't have to be quiet all the time. Just when we're negotiating."
"You mean arguing?"
"Now we make small talk for a few minutes, and you get to have another fizzler. Then it will be over."
Back at the table, they spoke about the markets, the weather, and the economic forecast. Jimmy twitched and wiggled, and, finally, James excused
them after paying the bill on the company card. In the car, James buckled the boy in. "I'm going to take you to see Grandma, now," he said, getting
in the driver's seat.
"What about Mom?" Jimmy asked.
James turned around to look at him. He was tired of hearing the question and avoiding the truth. Sooner or later the boy would have to know that
his mother had abandoned him. Right now, he didn't need to know the whole truth, though. "Your Mom went away," he said.
"I know where she is, though," Jimmy said, his eyes earnest. "Now that Dad's gone, can we go get her and Mary?"
James frowned. "Who's Mary?"
"My new sister."
Bells went off inside James' ears. Small, sparkling lights danced in his peripheral vision. He fumbled in his suit coat pocket for his pills, popped the
lid, and stuck one beneath his tongue. When the bells and lights stopped, he turned and asked, "Okay, now. Tell me where your Mom and sister
From The Seattle Urban Chronicle
James Allen Warfield, Jr., was arrested on suspicion of murder last night after the bodies of his wife and infant daughter were found in a culvert
about ninety yards from their trailer house. Officers at the scene said that someone had left several peanut butter and jelly sandwiches near the
bodies which they guessed had been dead for about a week. The surviving child, a five-year-old who led authorities to the scene, is now living on
Bainbridge Island with his paternal grandparents.
My life as a woman?
by Glen Bear Smith
Recently I accompanied my wife, Tonia, to Dillards' (one of those overpriced yuppie, trendy department stores) to do a bit of shopping. I soon found
myself in the ladies makeover area.) With the help of a lovely pixy of a woman named Kathy, I was able to sit and observe the following:
OH, MY! Now this was quite a fright. One of these gargoyle creatures was about six feet tall and maybe weighed in at 120 pounds. She had on
more makeup than Boy George in the day.
She was cackling like an old hen and her laugh sounded worse than the girl at Wal-Mart over the loud speaker. Her measurements were a perfect
thirty-six;.......... twelve, twelve, twelve. She was running back and forth trying to make sure the other ladies did not miss their chance to be
addressed by Fidelliah. Now, I saw I was not going to escape very soon. So I sat back and watched as these sales ladies transformed regular-
looking women into something out of a sci-fi magazine.
It was not enough to simply do their faces. Oh, no! They had to do the hair and the nails and all of it right there in front of God and everyone else.
Now I have to tell you, these women have to be the greatest sales people on the planet. Not only did they convince their customers they were now
as beautiful as Laura Banks, but then proceeded to hit them for $120 for the stuff they so expertly (?) applied to their faces.
When these women got up and trotted off to the ladies room for a better look, I noticed that they looked refreshed when they came out with most of it
wiped off. My heck, I felt like a rooster in a hen house. Never in the history of man had another male been privy to the sights and sounds I
experienced that day.
Many of the women asked me if I was next. I told them "Sure, ever since I got the sex change I have long missed the excitement of this moment."
The ladies looked at me as if I had three eyes and four ears. (I am six foot two inches tall and weigh two hundred and fifty pounds) I just loved the
way they made a wide berth around me from that moment on.
It was about this time Fidelliah figured I was really telling the truth, because she came over and told me that she was so impressed that I would come
out and be a part of all this. Then she confided that she had made the change from a man to a woman five years before. Now that just about did it,
until she (?) confided in me that her boob job was a disaster. Well you coulda knocked me over with a feather. She was as flat as the floor she
I searched desperately for Tonia to give me some support. She was laughing so hard, she just about peed her pants.... Well I managed a thank
you for sharing that, and then (I am so embarrassed to say) broke out in such a belly laugh, I fell off from the stool I had been sitting on.... Needless
to say, the entire floor erupted into a free for all of laughter to relieve the tension that was so thick you could cut it with a meat cleaver.
Tonia collected her things, and hurriedly paid for her makeup and tore me the hell out of there, with the other women thanking me for making their
day....... I was so pleased to get out of there until Smitty (My nickname for Tonia) informed me I was the one who would be taking the makeup back
for a refund. I felt like I had just caught my foreskin in my zipper. The pain of walking back into that area was far more than I could bear. I paid one
of my employees $20 to do it for me.
I do not think I will be shopping there with my sweetheart again soon. I got a call from the store manager pleading me to come back because the
morale of her department had never been so high.
Evil eyes of the Watcher in the Woods by Glen Bear Smith
As a boy growing up in the Book Cliff Mountains of eastern Utah, we were pretty much alone up in Kenilworth. The little coal mining camp was
nestled at 7,500 feet above sea level.
All my big sisters had married and moved away with the exception of Charlotte Ann; she was six years older than me, and because I was the baby of
the family, she delighted in terrorizing me.
Long had there been the spooky story of a "Watcher in the woods." It was one of the most told ghost stories at every bonfire and camp out.
When I was seven, "Charlie" as we called Charlotte loved to watch to see the horror in my eyes as she would unfold her terrorizing tales of the
Watcher in the woods, and how it had taken the lives of many a hobo that strayed into the woods at night.
My momma always told me it was just nonsense and to not pay any attention to her, because they were just ghost stories and there were no ghosts
in Kenilworth or the surrounding areas. They were just scary stories told to make kids afraid of the dark.
My father was a craftsman of a unique nature. One of the things that he took great pride in was his sharp knives. I have seen him actually shave
with them. They were so sharp that when you would drop a Kleenex over one of them, just the weight of the tissue would cause it to split in half.
Kathy Doughty was a friend of Charlotte Ann, and because she had no younger siblings, delighted in trying her best to scare me to death.
On a Friday night in October Kathy had been to our house and as usual told her terrifying tales, always ending with the watcher. I was too afraid to
go to sleep so I spent all of Friday night in my closet under momma's camping quilts. My bedroom was upstairs next to Charlotte Ann's. The roof
out of my window was very high, so I felt relatively safe. Charlotte's could be scaled from below easily.
Saturday morning my mother called up to me, "Come on, Glen, time for breakfast. You get washed and get down here on the double". I hurriedly
washed my face and hands, forgetting to use soap and ran down the stairs. One look at me from momma was enough to tell me I looked like hell.
"What is the matter with you? You look like you have not slept for weeks". I was too afraid to tell her the truth and the look that Charlie gave me was
enough to send chills up my spine.
"It was....a...just a bad dream. Yeah, that's it, a bad dream." I was relieved when she got that all knowing look and said well it is day time now and
you are safe; however, Charlie just glared at me.
Momma and Daddy were going to be gone over to Mount Pleasant for the night and would be back on Sunday night. Charlotte was in charge of the
house until they got back.
The day went well. We both pitched in and got our chores done and then we rode our bikes up to the "Frog pond." It was a pond that the slag
water from out of the mine collected and served as a swimming pool and a rafting pond. There were salamanders and frogs and rats a plenty.
Charlie started in on me telling me about the "Watcher" in the woods. Kathy Doughty was there along with four other kids. Everyone took a turn
telling of near death experiences with the watcher.
I finally had had enough and grabbed my bike and high tailed it out of there. Glad to be home I went out on the front porch and since it was cloudy, I
snuggled up in a warm camp quilt and took a long, well needed nap. It was dusk when I woke up. I was very hungry and went in to see what Charlie
was fixing for supper. She was making a spaghetti dinner. Now that was a real step in the right direction.
Kathy was there and that bothered me. She started in on those damn stories again. I told her, "If you don't stop trying to scare me, Kathy, I'll get
even with you if it is the last thing I ever do."
Kathy said, "It might just be the last thing you do if the "Watcher" gets you first. He protects me and don't you forget it."
Well that did it. I dumped the spaghetti sauce over her head. It was pretty hot and she screamed like a banshee. I did not care. I was sick of her
being so mean to me.
Charlie took Kathy into the pantry and washed her hair out. It was red anyway so it was hard to see if it was clean or not. They were whispering to
each other, and it scared me. Older sisters can be so cruel at times.
Well, Kathy went home, and I helped Charlie clean up the mess. There was still enough sauce to have some dinner.
After dinner, we went into the living room to watch TV. It was dark now and I was getting tired and wanted to go to bed, but was afraid to go up the
stairs alone. Charlie said she'd go up with me. Just then we heard a thump up stairs and we could see these horrible eyes at the top of the stairs.
It was so dark. I ran back to momma's bedroom and grabbed one of daddy's hunting knives and ran back and started up the stairs. Charlotte
started to laugh as the black figure with the most horrifying eyes jumped forward and began to scream and howl, like a monster.
I had never thrown a knife before. I had just seen Tarzan do it in the movies. I shoved Charlie down and threw the knife. It hit the monster in the
head, right between the eyes. Fortunately for Kathy Doughty, it was the heel of the knife that hit her. She let out a shriek of pain and terror of her
own as she watched the knife flip and fall down into Charlotte's foot, pinning it to the step. Now Charlie let out a blood curdling scream of her own. It
was so loud in fact that the neighbor Henry came running over to our house to see what was the matter.
Well there was Kathy, with a dent in her forehead, bleeding and crying like death warmed over. She ran and jumped out of Charlotte's bedroom
window. Charlie was still there with her foot stuck to the step, crying like she had made me earlier. Henry pulled the knife out of her foot and rushed
her up to the hospital.
There was blood everywhere and I was left alone in the house to clean it up. You have no idea how afraid I was at the slightest sound; however, I
was happy that I was okay and could actually throw a knife.
The next morning was Sunday, and Dominick Polvey, the deputy sheriff, came by and said, "It is a good thing that you kids were home last night.
We just found what is left of a hobo down by the tracks just below your house. Did you hear anything?"
My blood ran cold as I told him about Kathy Doughty. Dominick said, "Kathy was not home last night. She and her father were in Price at the
movies. Are you sure of your facts, because I think you may have just saved you and your sister's lives.
Suddenly I was unable to move or speak. What if it was???
Be thankful that you were not in Kenilworth that night, especially in the woods at the edge of town
from Shamim Sadiq
> 1. Drink plenty of water.
> 2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner
> like a beggar.
> 3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less
> food that is manufactured in plants.
> 4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
> 5. Make time to pray.
> 6. Play more games
> 7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
> 8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
> 9. Sleep for 7 hours.
> 10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
> 11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their
> journey is all about.
> 12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
> Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
> 13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
> 14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
> 15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
> 16. Dream more while you are awake
> 17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
> 18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with
> His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
> 19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
> 20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
> 21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
> 22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
> Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away
> like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
> 23. Smile and laugh more.
> 24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...
> 25. Call your family often.
> 26. Each day give something good to others.
> 27. Forgive everyone for everything.
> 28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
> 29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
> 30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
> 31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends
> will. Stay in touch.
> 32. Do the right thing!
> 33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
> 34. GOD heals everything.
> 35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
> 36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
> 37. The best is yet to come.
> 38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
> 39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
> Last but not the least:
> 40. Live life.
> Have a good week!
Courage , Oh Where to start,a word so broad and debated
A female walking several miles against odds to get educated
Courage-- a survivor of deadly disease or imposed war
Fighting hard to overcome post traumatic disorder
A working person, running fast to get on the bus or subway
Lest he miss the vehicle, is late for work, spoiling his day
Courage -- a demented guy trying hard to keep his medicines together
Pilling them up one by one, not knowing how many to gather
Courage ---a physically handicapped person
Using mental navigation to help with direction
Courage -- a dyslexic, struggling with his directions
Every single day overcoming his visual impairments
Courage --someone working with mentally challenged
Helping him be independent , leaving others intrigued
Courage -- a child with attention deficit fighting his mental clutter
Parents and teachers working hard together to make his life better
Courage--- standing up after falling again and again
Tall after every fall, not drifting, but facing the pain
Courage---an emotionally devastated person
In spite of overwhelming battles, chooses to run
Courage --- a mother losing child to abuse
Starts a preventive program , making headline news
Courage---a rape victim
Defending others, what a great dictum
Courage-- abolishing sati,death when her husband dies
Efforts of eradicating radical punishments and genocides
Courage--- handling array of emotions of friends and family
Forgiving them when need be and being there unconditionally
Courage-- going extra mile to explore the globe
Or travel deep inside your soul,and continue to probe
Courage-- standing up for what feels right
Yet being submissive, and letting go of ego fight
HOUSE OF DOLLS
A bit of a recluse, Emily made dolls as a hobby. As many as one hundred dolls lined the walls of her home at a given time.
The neighborhood children loved to visit and if they were very lucky they would leave with two or three of them.
Tommy Randall always made sure he went along on these visits. He loved the idea that the dolls looked so lifelike they were easy to mistake for real
children. Recently Emily began to make the dolls in exact likenesses of her twelve little visitors. Like portraits, little doll portraits.
Tommy was hurt because there wasn’t a doll made for him. He decided to ask her why.
"Because I can't see you that well," she responded.
Tommy nodded as if he understood, but he felt worse.
Late one night, a tired Emily added the final stitches on her latest creation. Her hand slipped and stuck the needle into its stuffing. It howled and fell
off her lap and Emily backed away terrified. It lay on the floor like an old sock, motionless.
The next morning the doll was nowhere to be found. After searching the house thoroughly, she finally gave up and went on with her chores.
All twelve of the children arrived that afternoon to spend time with her, and to play with a few of their favorite toys. Tommy, always the last to arrive,
drew a lot of attention to himself with his newly bandaged arm.
"What happened to you sweetie, you're all taped up?" Emily asked.
"I woke up this way, I know it's weird, but I did."
Tommy looked embarrassed, and the kids laughed at him for not being able to explain what happened.
"Funny, I worked on a doll last night that I think looked a lot like you. I stabbed it with a needle by accident and the tiny devil disappeared on me."
Emily looked at Tommy for some sort of response. He blinked a few times and began wandering around dreamily touching the dolls. She wasn’t sure
if he heard her at all.
"Let's have some milk and cookies," as she opened the refrigerator. "I made cookies this morning."
“Are they Monster cookies?" Tommy asked.
"Would you like that? OK then, they are monster cookies, and if you handle them the wrong way they will eat you, just like you eat them." Emily
playfully held up a cookie and made it advance toward Tommy in a bouncing motion.
"Ms. Emily, stop kidding, you're scaring…,” he said as he held his hands up to protect himself. The little ones all giggled at her joke and imitated her
with their cookies. “Watch out for the Monster cookie,” they shrieked at each other.
Several hours later the children left and Emily went to bed exhausted.
Dreaming about the missing doll, the monster cookies, Tommy's frightened face, everything blended together and felt too real to her. Arising early in
the morning feeling tired and nervous
she turned on the lights and nothing happened, the living room remained dark. Standing there transfixed, focusing on the sounds of low giggling in
the room, she said.
"Who's here? This isn't funny, speak up whoever you are."
More giggling, then a little voice mimicked, "this isn't funny," and the laughter got louder.
She began to jiggle the switch up and down, followed by little screams when the lights flashed on.
Emily stared in amazement at the line up on the ledge of her walls. There were the eleven children sitting where the dolls used to be. She noticed
Tommy wasn’t one of them. The children’s shiny black eyes stared straight ahead without expression.
In a corner, on a chair all by itself sat the only real doll left in the room.
It was her.
What I Learned From NaNoWriMo
by Lawrence D. Elliott
This past November, I decided to participate once again the National Novel Writing Month, or as it is more commonly known, NaNoWriMo. It would be
my second go at, the first being the previous year. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Since I was only able to accomplish just over
23,000 words, I was not entirely sure I would be able to do any better this time. But with everything going on in my life, I decided it would probably be
a much-needed distraction.
Since November of 2007, my wife had been struggling with a series of diseases. In September of 2008, she had her first of many brushes with
death. It was then that I discovered her unconscious on our bed just before heading to my office. If I had let her sleep undisturbed—as was my first
inclination—she would have been dead upon my return. But as I saw her skin was pale, her lips a blue-purple color, and a gurgling sound was
coming from her, I decided to investigate further. It was good that I did. She was in respiratory failure. I immediately went into action. I was able to
revive her holding her in one arm while dialing 911 with the other.
Within 18 months, we had 14 hospital stays, the vast majority of them longer than a week. She had procedures from full on surgery to blood
transfusions. I stayed by side from the early morning until late into the night. This was not the environment to win NaNoWriMo, but I found myself
enrolling anyway. Thus began my quest for 50,000 words!
But what was I to write?
After a bit of reflection, the choice was as clear. I decided to write a story based on our medical journey. I knew it would be difficult to relive those
experiences, but the material was already there. I felt it would make hitting the mark that much easier.
On November 2nd, after spending the previous day completing an outline of what I wanted to accomplish with my story, I began to write. And since
our medical journey was still on its way, I wrote in some very strange places. Sometimes I wrote on my laptop at my wife’s bedside as she received
lengthy medical procedures. Other times, I’d write in the car in the pouring rain. And still other times I’d write into the late hours of the night or the
And when I wasn’t able to have my laptop as my tool—such as in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices—I would pull out my PDA and write words on
the native mini word processor. I even scribbled on pieces of paper, if that was all I had handy. Anything to keep working and advance my word
count. I even remembered scribbling some ideas down while standing next to the tomatoes and zucchini at the supermarket.
But I really didn't start racking up the words until I discovered voice recognition software. After reading an article, I bought a copy of Naturally
Speaking. The version I purchased came with a headset. After going through the initial training process for the software to recognize my voice, I
gave it spin! I was impressed with how easy it was to use.
I eventually settled in the routine of putting on the headset and sitting in my backyard to the backdrop of the setting sun. I'd just let my mind pour out
ideas onto the page. Or shall I say, the computer screen. It was great just concentrating on the ideas instead of having to pause to let my fingers
catch up with my thoughts. The words appeared in my word processor, seemingly as fast as they popped into my head, with the exception to the
moments when the computer had to catch up with the speed of my mind. But since the software caches the words, it would eventually be back to its
normal speed. I would regularly conduct training sessions to my voice. And the more I'd train it, the more accurate it became. I could whip out two,
thee, and four thousand words at such speeds I had never before been able to do. By the 23rd day of the month, just before Thanksgiving, I
reached that magical number of 50,000 words. Even in the hectic world that was my life, I did it! I was amazed, to say the least!
Well, I was hooked on that software from that point on! It's now a regular tool when I just want to get the ideas to flow. It is especially useful when
writing dialogue. I really get to hear it. I really get a feel for what my characters are saying.
As I work my way to completing the editing of my book, it represents more than just the accomplishment of a month of hard word. It also represents a
month of self-discovery of what I really can do once I put a laser-focus on my work and open my mind to new techniques in writing.
Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
by Natalie Williams
I grabbed the wood of my staff, the thick walking stick I had now become accustomed to. It was warm in the hot baking sun. Without it I would have
been lost―my steady friend. I moved it in my fingers. It was rough and the heat it had absorbed in the hours of my journey pulsed through the
teakwood fibres, through into my skin and bones. The wood was uneven and I cautiously ran my fingers down to its base, expecting a splinter but I
felt no stab or prick. The knobbles and dark markings that mottled its fibrous coat were part of my staff. Just like the African earth I stood in and was
covered with, my staff’s damaged parts were beautiful. I looked down at my hands, happy in the silence. The lines in my hands were marked out
from the red earth I’d climbed up in. There is a legend, you know. They say the earth in Africa is so red that you can see the blood of fallen warriors
flowing through it. I imagined the Zulu warriors of old fighting with spears and skin shields, in the midday hours in the same grasslands I had passed
through only moments before.
Disturbed from my reverie by the team, I turned to see what was happening behind me. Our guide was poised on one of the outlying boulders
looking over the grasslands by the waterhole. One of the men whispered to him, “what is it bût?”
“Sssh.” Our team leader held his hand up to silence him and pointed to the left of the horizon. We stood marking the silence, the heat cascading off
the earth in mirage-like waves, until towards the left-rising slope we saw a herd of antelope strolling through the grasslands. The majestic herd
leader strode tall, chewing the cud at the front of the herd and looking over to where we stood, watching. He locked eyes with me, moment to
moment, as keen to understand my presence there as I was to understand his.
Two little ones skipped underfoot from the herd tumbling, forward from the back, play-fighting, and as they spied the waterhole they raced forward,
eager to drink from the cold, fresh water. The bull, graceful and in control, tipped his antlers forward to trip them both up, never moving his locked
eyes from mine. The little ones plunged forward ahead of him and locked together antlers in red clouds of dust and excitement. We’d seen
crocodiles warming in the sun when we’d passed by before. I wondered how he’d known. Perhaps he believed he should drink before the others.
It was strange how the herd marked us but did not run. Perhaps we had become like them, part of the bush. We had our part to play.
“Come on everyone, the mountain won’t climb itself, and the hardest part is yet to come. Probably be cool ‘round mid afternoon, so use your water
now if you need it. We should hit the next water spot in a couple of hours.” Our guide was an agile young man called Thulani, whose name meant
happiness in the native language of Zimbabwe, and I, along with many others, was climbing its highest mountain. It had taken us three days to get to
this point on the shadow plains, and as the grass underfoot turned to red earth and then red rock, I knew it would become harder.
We moved up the red rocks, and with the sweat pouring off my legs, the dirt that clung to my skin became like glue. Hands reached down for hands,
and muscles strained as we climbed farther and farther. My legs were burning with the effort each step took, but the feeling of the hot rocks and sun
on my skin was a comfort I knew I would never forget. I felt like I belonged.
Thulani reached the largest rock ahead of us, and stopped to look down. I smiled. He was like a cat, stretched out in his glory, and his glory was his
comfort in this wildness. I lunged forward, using my staff to pull me up, and he grabbed my shoulders, placing me on the mossy rock beside him.
“Tired?” Thulani patted me on the arm.
“I’m okay. How do we go any further?” I gulped, looking downward at the red drop. The red earth had turned to clay, with rocks embedded inside like
souls trapped in a coffin. It was a long way down, and I had no idea how I would gather the strength to pass through here. There was a small,
winding path snaking its way down through the clay―only wide enough for one person and a staff.
Thulani pointed downward. The others sat around me, breathing heavily. “Single file. Down the pass. It’s the only way to get up; we have to go down
first. Go slowly; use the staff to get a hold in the ground and you won’t fall. If you lose your grip, try not to get in anyone’s way or you’ll take us all
down with you. Now go, one at a time.”
I swallowed hard, I didn’t expect this. The earth was so beautiful but yet, for us, so small and insignificant it was beyond threatening. It held the
promise of death. Frozen in the spot I sat in, the boys went first and then the girls. Thulani nodded to me. His face was set in grave lines; maybe he
could sense my fear, our fear. The air was filled with it. I wanted to say I couldn’t but my body got up before my mouth could form the words.
I began to make my way down. The clay swallowed our feet, and dyed our hands red. The rocks inside it were sharp and my fingers began to bleed.
The blood marked the wood in my staff. I felt tears sting my eyes and blend into the russet-coloured sweat on my face. Thulani was behind me. I
turned to see where he was so I could keep enough space between us and as I did, I stepped too hard on the rock ahead of me and just slipped.
The air rushed in my nose, and the hot air turned to cold as I fell. I didn’t know where I was, or what would happen. I only felt the fear. I could not
control these next moments.
“There. Got you.” It was Thulani. Somehow he’d stopped me from falling.
“H-how?” I stammered, shaking. I felt like a dead weight. I could see the others, as he pulled me up, one-handed. I could smell the strain as he pulled
me closer, back onto the path.
“I jumped.” He smiled again, his face was red-black and his white teeth shone uncomfortably in the sun.
There was no thank-you or time to experience the moment. We moved on, down and down until we slipped out at the bottom through a curtain of
sweet-smelling green firs, into a cold jet stream of water. Gasping with shock, I heard Thulani shout something in Ndebele, and jump. We were
behind a waterfall. The water was like the thinnest glass, a cold diamond, and in its reflection I could see our faces, reddened by the dust we had
climbed through. We all jumped into the water, one after the other.
I couldn’t see the bottom, but the fear had been taken from me. We reached the water-side and clamoured out. I sat there in my own thoughts until
Thulani had built a fire in the warm space between two huge boulders, and the others sat rubbing their hands together. It was dark so suddenly, as it
always was in Africa, but night fell so much darker here. Our guide sat on the boulder staring up into the sky.
We were right under the Milky Way. There were millions of stars, more than my eyes could take in or count. They looked so close to the touch, I
climbed up to sit with Thulani and reached up to grab one for me to keep.
“Have you eaten?” He looked up at me in the darkness.
“No. Not hungry yet.” My hand was empty. There were no stars to keep, only to see.
“Sit.” He patted the granite beside him.
“I fell today.” I was ashamed, and whispered. “You caught me.”
“Yes. Shall I tell you a story?” He held out his hand, and placed a rock, still warm from the heat, in one of my hands, and a lump of clay in the other.
As he spoke he was sitting on the edge of the granite, pointing out to the horizon. I could see the soft lines in his face by the starlight as he spoke
softly. “You see, we have walked today in grass as high as the antelope, and drunk from the steam of the storm. We have bathed in the earth, and
washed ourselves of past and future. We have become covered in the soil, and we shall always carry these things with us, like these here in your
hands. We have hair, like the grass, and skin, like the clay. We have hearts like the proud granite, and our souls will always give glory to the stars,
here.” Thulani pointed out to the African horizon and the bright stars twinkling in the sky.
I looked down at the rock and clay, and up at the stars, frowning. “I don’t understand.”
“You have fallen in Africa and Africa caught you. You are part of it now, child. You’re an African princess now.” He closed my fingers over the stone
and clay I held in my hands. He stood up and placed his hand on my shoulder. The silence was heavy and I swallowed, unable to speak. As he
jumped down the rock to the camp below, I could hear his words echoing, as if they had been heard by the dark African night, and I was changed.
The Legend of Hawk-child
The world was as dark as the days that filled it. It had been seventy years of night, maybe more. After the sky fell, I had not spoken. I was alone and
feared I would always be.
I stood on the black ash and rock that I’d be accustomed to as my home, and looked out onto the horizon. I didn’t know what day it was, but I carved
a white mark with the flint in the rock for each year that had passed; seventy now and more to follow. Each mark was the same length, and stood out
like the doom that filled the air I breathed. I was naked in the cool wind, blowing from the west. I had no need of clothes. My brown body, decorated
with mud and moss, was my only friend here.
My friend had looked after me all these years. Since the sky fell I had not aged a day. When I looked into the water pools in Chikuaki, I could see my
sooty face in the shadows, staring hard and praying for the lost souls in the land to appear. But when I lifted my head to look into the wastelands, I
saw nothing, no-one. I was the only living warm-blood in the breathing world.
My eyes looked like black smudges of darkened blood in brown soil. My mother told me that when I was born into the world, the earth shook and
from then on, it was awake. Gripping my stomach with sickness, I wrenched over onto my back on the overhanging rock. It was darker now than
before, but the images of the day I had found them became alive in the smoke of dusk and haunted me.
I’d been hunting all day in the over-pass, where the fire rocks hit the waters, on the high grass-lands. I had four tat-tails and one pig in the skin-boat
I dragged behind me. I was four days to coming of age, but I needed no man to hunt with me. My name was Bear-hawk of the golden plane; son of
the Chikuaki tribe.
A storm had gathered on the far side of the horizon and threatened to reach down with wet, red claws into our village. The elders had not prayed to
the sun-god for a few days now, and the consequences were beginning to show. I’d noticed the silence, but thought they had seen the storm as I
had, and began at their prayers, but it was then that I saw my mother, bending over the straw bowl, her legs crossed. I called out to her.
When she did not answer, I began to run, dragging my hunt’s rewards behind me. As I ran towards her, I noticed the silence. I paused, fearful, and
leaving the leather cord that held my skin-boat to my body I tread softly, crunching the butter palm leaves beneath my bare feet.
I knew at once, she was dead. Her hair was matted with blood, like the tat-tails I had brought back for the evening meal. I framed her face with my
hands, but I could not weep for her. The pain in my chest was unbearable, so I roared into the skies hoping the sun-god would hear me. Her blood
had poured down her legs into the seeds in her bowl. Her face showed no fear.
I tilted her body backwards in my arms gently, she was still in her beauty, but her heart had been removed from her as she sat. Who had done this
to her, and why? I left her as I found her, to check on the rest of my village. I found them all, as she was; their hearts removed as they sat. I roared
again, hoping someone would hear me, but there was no sound.
I returned to my mother. I could not perform the burial rights for them all yet, but I would return, but I could not leave her in the dirt, and I would have
sooner died than leave her in the wet when it came. The clouds were angry, and full, threatening to wash her life’s blood into the earth.
I dipped all of my fingers into her blood, and marked my face and chest with what was left of her life, and in the earth nearby I buried her and marked
the land with her straw bowl, as she had left it. It was then that I left the village, in search for the rest of the village hunters. I was not of age yet, but
since most of the tribe had been killed I had to assume that the remaining men on the hunt would not know. I had to find my father.
It was days before I found the hunting party. They were laid upon each other, their eyes staring wildly up into the sky, begging the sun-god to save
them. There was no sign of my father, so I strode on, hoping he was still alive.
After another day, I found him; his skin torn from his body. He was kneeling, holding his own heart out to the sun as an offering. I marked out the
scars of his right of passage in his face; the scars that made me laugh when they turned upward on my first hunt.
That day, I had returned to my village, and with the last of my strength gone, I made a fire and cooked the tat-tails, and pig. I feasted my revenge,
and the deaths of all those who would feel the tip of my spear. Once I had eaten my full, I buried my family and their families in the earth and then, I
ate again. I marked the earth of the village with the white powders from the fire, showing all who came there that this was no home for warm-bloods
any longer, as I had seen my grandfather do when grandmother had died.
I left the village, marked with all their blood and went to bury the men, but they had been taken; their bodies stripped. Breathless, I ran for my father.
He could not be left, but his body had been plundered like the others. All that was left was his heart, cold and firm, but filled with blood. I marked my
head and lips with it, and inside my leather bag, I hid it away inside my clothing.
That day was seventy years ago. I had learnt soon afterward that I was the last of us. I was the only one who had not been taken that day. Years
have passed by as quickly as the nose of the salmon in the water, but I do not know why I was spared, or who killed my family.
After a few days had passed since their burial, the sky had fallen. Quick, and hard and with each drop I felt my energy change. The rain-god danced
long into the night, beating his drum, and when I woke the next day the sky was black. I lost all joy for all life when the sun died.
It was a day-night like any other. I’d hunted earlier and caught my fill. I could see no change in the wind, as I poured the red sand through my
fingers, grain by grain.
I knew it was the passing of another year, and I decided to make my way down to the water side to sharpen my blade in the surf. I lived not far from
the water, on the black rocks where the sun used to fall hardest. As I slid down the cool stone, the mud on my body kept me from cutting my skin
open. As I landed, I grabbed fist-full's of the red clay and patted them onto my body. The waking earth had kept me from the darkened cold.
I had travelled this way so many times that I knew my way in the dark, and smiled with pride as I crunched my feet onto the grasslands. The animals
no longer hunted me, so I was safe even here. Perhaps they knew I was the last of my kind.
When I reached the water hole, I dipped my blade in the water and using a stone from my leather sack I ground it finely until it was sharp enough to
cut through any hide. The water was colder today. I could feel the ache of its frosty arm stroking my veins so I climbed the waterfall to the top, where
the hot rocks rested and lay soaking up the heat they kept inside them.
“Hawk-child. Awaken.” A soft, sweet voice caressed my face.
I leapt up, grabbing my spear. I flipped around. Breathing hard and heavy, my brown ragged hair falling round my face I prepared for battle in my
“Hawk-child.” The voice spoke again, but this time I saw the white tipped feathers out the corner of my eye. A red-tailed hawk flew above me,
swooping and diving. The bird held a bright light around it, allowing me to see its shape.
“Is it you who speaks, great Hawk?” My voice cracked with use.
“Child, it has been many years since the passing of the warm-bloods but sit a while with me, I must speak with you.” The hawk paused mid-flight, its
wings rushing backward holding its body in the wind. The hawk was brown and white but its under-side feathers were blue and red. I had never seen
a bird of this colour. In the right of passage, my father said I would be met by a spirit guide who would lead me to adulthood.
I put away my spear, and sat down cross-legged. As my body touched the black rock, the hawk landed next to me, its wings outstretched completely.
The hawk drew in its wings and spoke, “my name is Tayanna, spirit of the sky.”
“I am grateful to meet you Tayanna. May your blood flow well. My name is Bear-hawk of the golden plane. I am the last of the Chikuaki tribe.” I knew
no other greeting than the welcome of my tribe.
“I know your name, young one. In truth, I know all of your living days. When your mother was in birth with you, I visited her. I was sad to see her
passing, but I cannot say I did not know of it.”
The blood rushed to my face. I rushed to my feet “Speak now, if you have been their end.”
“Sit, sit young one. I was not their end, but rather, their beginning. Hush now, sit and speak a while with me. I do not often speak with warm-bloods,
so I welcome your words.” Tayanna gestured with her right wing for me to sit.
“You visited my mother?” I swallowed, finding it impossible to keep patience with this slow, aged spirit.
“Once, yes. I told her that you would belong to the sun-god one day and to bear you well. I feared that the day would come sooner than she thought
but it came nonetheless, and now here we are.”
“Come spirit, if you know who made their end, speak of it now.” I could bear it no longer.
“From today, you will ride me as a child of the sun-god. You will be known only as Hawk-child. Once you have taken your new name, and hidden
your old name, I will speak of it.”
“I take up this name.” I nodded. “But, what did you mean I would belong to the sun-god one day. We are all under the sun, are we not?”
“Tut, tut. Too much too soon, Hawk-child. Come, get up on my wings and let us fly.”
I tucked my spear in behind my leather sack, hanging on my back and climbed Tayanna. The mud on my body coloured her feathers. She lifted into
the sky, and flew into the winds. Although the air rushed into my ears, I could hear she speak clearly.
“You were born of the earth, Hawk-child, so you are stronger and braver than most. The sun-god baked the red clay and formed your heart, and
gave your soul to your mother. The day your family was taken, the sun-god mourned and gave no light and so that is why we fly in darkness. But of
course, I carry my own light.” The beast guffawed with laughter, and then carried on speaking. “I will tell you now, that the rain-god took out the
hearts of your family, as they sat.”
Even though I was comfortable in flight, my breath stole from my chest. I would have to end the rain-god to take my revenge.
“You cannot end the rain-god, Hawk-child, even though you may wish it. It is forbidden, for as much as the earth needs the sun, the earth needs rain
as well. In truth, you have a long journey ahead of you. One which, I cannot follow all the way, but I will do my best to watch you from the sky. You
see, Hawk-child, you must find the water panther. He will know what you must do next, for I fear even this is beyond my powers. I will be here if you
call me.” Tayanna’s wings rushed forward, as she landed in the black soil, far from Chikuaki. She dropped a small, red drum in my hands. “You are
at the heart of the war that may end us all, Hawk-child, and only you can save us. Your family were only the beginning of the blood that will be split,
and even I may not be spared from pain.”
I stared at the red drum. “I will not call you, unless I am lost and cannot find my way again. I doubt that will happen.” I stood up, smiling with
confidence, fastening my spear in its place as I hid the red drum in my leather bag.
“If it is as you say Hawk-child, then the sun will shine on us all again. From now on, my light will stay with you even as I do. You must follow the red
earth, until you find the forest. There, in the trees the water panther hides. Beware, for he will not pause his hunting for you. Tap the red drum three
times and I will be at your side.”
As she spoke, Tayanna flew into the sky and tipped her wing. My stomach grumbled, and I swung down the small rock I stood on to find a snake to
roast on the open fire. There was no reason for travelling on an empty stomach.
Friends of Robin Falls
|Add your HOT web link
Intro Offer - $10 yearly
Gift of $1 to Robin Falls