Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finding Love

Love and compassion lives within us. It doesn't seek love. It just wants to express love. The love it expresses is always unconditional. This love doesn't criticize or judge others around us. Love can't exist where there is fear.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Finding Power

Centering Thought
My power and strength are within.

My power is limitless. The Creator has limitless power. He has put this same power within me. If I repeat this daily and come to believe it, I will be able to face the hard times that are a part of life. This thought is very comforting. When difficulties come, I don't want to appear like a big baby but like a strong woman full of faith and limitless power.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 2 Finding Happiness Chopra and Oprah

Day 2

Today I learned happiness is within me. Happiness comes from nothing external or around me because all that is outside me is fragile and can or will disappear or go away. If I find or depend on inner happiness, that can not be taken from me. It is always mine.So I am the source of unlimited happiness.

It is easier for me to understand day 2 than day 1. I might have to go over the safety and security step again. I am happy to have the chance to take this meditation series for 21 days. Can't believe it's free to all who would like to join.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lights Over Emeral Creek by Shelley Davidow NetGalley

This novel is made up of  many intricate parts including a simple and beautiful plot about a young girl named Lucy and her dad, Stephen, who live in Queensland, Australia. Lucy helps her dad run an Adventure Park. There are constantly visitors coming and going enjoying animals like the Lorikeet and the Kookaburra. Lucy is a paraplegic. Lucy's life becomes extraordinary when she begins to meet the supernatural in her own backyard. This is where Lights Over Emerald Creek by Shelley Davidow takes a wide turn from reality into fantasy but fantasy that has some truth to it.

At this point, I felt like my body had boarded a flying saucer. I had to tilt my thoughts to go on this journey with Lucy and her new friend from Scotland, Jonathan. Lucy becomes aware of something called Cymatics. I had never heard of this term. It is beyond my understanding. So, I am adding a Wikipedia meaning here which describes just what Lucy sees and hears. This experience seemed to me as wild and strange and beautiful in its own way as Australia. One of the characters does say that Australia is quite different from other places. The kangaroo is described as looking like two or three different animals.

Cymatics (from Greek: κῦμα "wave") is the study of visible sound and vibration, a subset of modal phenomena. Typically the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane is vibrated, and regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles, paste, or liquid.[1] Different patterns emerge in the excitatory medium depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency.

At times I felt as though the author, Shelley Davidow hurried past some incidents. A python is mentioned twice. It's found living in the roof of Lucy's house. However, not much is told about the visitors reaction or how it's gotten down, etc. I would think of this as a big moment even in Australia for visitors to experience. We do learn about Lucy and her father's respect for animals and nature. The visitors are not to kill the pythons.

Other than  moments quickly passed over, I liked the novel. It is great to read an author who is willing to write about a character with a disability. The lights like the Norway Lights, the music in harmony with geometric figures make Lucy seem at one with nature. I took it to mean no matter what our disability we can find a place of entry in nature, and nature is magical. Plus, there is always a place for love. There is a love for every person.

I loved the fantasy part of the novel. Lucy and Jonathan meet a six hundred year old man with an unending beard named Nairn. The part I didn't get is how Stephen's girlfriend, all of a sudden ended up a ruler in another realm. She is an evil ruler who, at some point, Lucy will have to overthrow. This part about the girlfriend gave me pause. I think a new character would have done fine. It just stretched my imagination too much to take the girlfriend and make her a ruler of another world.

I also had never heard of the Rosslyn motet. Thought it had something to do with Classical music. So I asked my son. He said a motet had something to do with a chorus. He had never heard of the Rosslyn part.I looked it up and found the definition fascinating. I am anxious to read more about the Rosslyn motet.

I also wasn't sure whether Jonathan and Lucy secretly eloped before going on their journey or didn't elope. This is another part the author covered pretty swiftly. I also felt that Jonathan didn't seem real when he accepted Lucy's disability so quickly while Craig her other boyfriend goes into total shock and rejects her. I think Jonathan would have been more real if he had acted stunned in some way or became angry at Lucy for not telling him about her disability. I think there is room for shock and acceptance in a character. He could have still fallen in love with her, but she would have needed to explain why she wasn't totally forthright with him.

I really enjoyed learning the new terms and learning about the sights and sounds in Australia. I think the setting is a significant part of Lucy's life. Lights Over Emerald Creek is really magical. I haven't mentioned the unborn who were fascinating too. I wonder how Lucy will deal with her new role as a good ruler overcoming an evil ruler.

What didn't stretch my imagination was electrical forces making Lucy able to walk. She gets up out of her wheelchair while in this other world. Electrical forces are used as a way of treatment for those who want to walk again. I also loved Lucy's ability to fly. I think most of us wish for the ability to fly. What would it feel like?  Also loved Jonathan's care and love for Lucy. Their relationship is so beautiful. It's amazing how the author pulled together so many different ideas in her novel, Lights Over Emerald Creek. Throughout the novel I had the wonderful experience of never knowing what would happen next to Lucy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lights Over Emerald Creek by Davidow

"the sunlight, the warmth, the sounds of the lorikeets whose songs hovered harmoniously in distinct musical intervals over her head."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Prodigal by Derek Walcott

"the smell of history I carry in my clothes
like smoke, the smell of a washed street in Pescara,
the sun-on-stone smell of the hills of Tuscany."

The Bear A Novel by Claire Cameron / Little, Brown and Company

This is a novel about a family on a camping trip. However, this camping trip will have an unusual and very tragic ending. The novel takes place at Algonquin Park, Bates Island, Lake Opeongo in 1991. The novel ends in 2011 at Algonquin Park. Because of the tragedy these children return home totally changed. Life will never be the same in their Canadian home. As Anna, the daughter and sibling, might say, "We were four. Now we are two." Sadly, their parents are murdered by a bear. Anna who is five years old and her brother, Alex or Stick, who is two years old, survive in the park alone while their parents lie dead or near death close by. I think of it as a very sad coming of age novel because the narrator all the way through the novel is Anna, a five year old. Stick calls her Nana. 

It is the details like Alex's nickname for Anna and Anna's nickname for Alex that still stick in my mind and remain unforgettable. I truly can say my heart fell in love with children all over again while reading The Bear by Claire Cameron. Their innocence, their honesty, their ability to love in any circumstance and their feelings of responsibility are traits often taken for granted by society. There is also the fact that children do grieve just like adults. Only a child's grief seems deeper because they don't have the grown-up words to describe their heart felt feelings.

Anna has a doll named Gwen whom Alex calls Glen. Anna talks to Gwen and holds her as if she were real and breathing.  Psychologically complex on one level, Anna understands that her furry doll is not real which is perhaps a story in it self. When Anna drops or loses Gwen she looks for her like she would look for Alex. So Gwen is a character who can not be ignored in the novel. 
As I read about Anna's innocence, I also could see her mature while on Bates Island. It is the innocence that protects her mind. Innocence which makes her see Alex as just as a pooping little brother who gets in the way or who eats all the cookies in the tin. It is innocence that abides and makes Anna know it's time to become a loving, big sister who must protect her brother and herself with a spear.  At this point, she gives herself the role of princess or queen. This is when she struggles against unknown forces to survive. I think at this point she knows something is wrong, but she has no words for what is wrong. She just knows to take action: move the canoe, grab the berries and swallow as many as possible and wipe off Alex's bum. When she loses Alex, she realizes how much she loves her little brother.

No wonder there are doctors who choose as their life's work Child Psychology. A child's mind is simple and complex. A child's mind seems like a road which turns back on itself. There is the magical ability to convert problems into challenges. There is the ability to become mature and then, become a child again. There is always electrical, vibrating movement in their minds and hearts.

Once the children are rescued and taken to a hospital and home,  Anna and Alex's honesty is really displayed. Still, death is like a foggy mirror. They never quite understand that their parents are dead. Anna knows Grandpa's chair has moved into their house. Finally, Alex just squats and cries and cries. Still, he gobbles all the cookies in the house. Probably, feeding the emptiness left by his parents. He waits for daddy to come through the gate, home from work. He never comes. 

When I finished the book, I sat and held it. I didn't want to let go of Anna or Alex. It seemed as if I had become their guardians. This is because of the skill of Claire Cameron's pen. Although this is a novel, there are facts in it. As much as I loved Alex and Anna, the children are only from the imaginative mind of the author. However, two adults did die together on Bates Island. They were killed by a bear. I would like to end my review by mentioning their names. I think they died like heroes. Their names are Raymond Jakubauskas and Carole Frehe. The attack happened in October of 1991. There is no known reason ir reasons why the bear chose to murder these two people. 

While the children seem the most important characters in the novel, there is always the hovering spirits of the parents on that island. The mother who tells Anna in her dying breath to take Alex to the canoe, and the father who puts Alex and Anna in the Coleman for safety. I can't forget Raymond Jakubauskas or Carole Frehe either. I can not imagine the fear, the struggle or anything about the attack that the two very real people experienced on that island. I can only thank Claire Cameron for remembering them in her novel, The Bear.  As far as Algonquin Park, one tragic incident can not destroy its beauty.