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Friday, November 18, 2016

Learning


Last night while seated next to my husband watching a movie on TV, I was annoyed by my husband's constant coughing. 

"Stop coughing. I can't hear," I snapped as I started to move away.

My husband just kept quiet.

And somehow I did not feel right.

I moved  back close to my husband and gave him a hug and a kiss.

He looked happy.

 See I've been learning. 

And I'm grateful.

- Posted with Aloha 
By Ariel Murphy




Sunday, August 16, 2015

Orchids galore


The Big Island of Hawaii, the State's largest island, is also called "Orchid Isle."  Perhaps due to the mineral rich volcanic soil of the island orchid farms, including the largest in the State, abound on the Big Island, especially on the island's east (Hilo) side.

Every year, the Hilo Orchid Society puts up a long-awaited and well-attended  exhibit of the flowers grown by its members.   I went to the exhibit held two weeks ago and took the following pictures.











 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 










 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 








 
 
 





Posted with Aloha!
- By ARIEL MURPHY
 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Beginning with me


My friend Jay and I see each other only in band gigs nowadays.  We both love the same bands. When I see him, I manage to remember to greet him with my hands clasped together as if in prayer while I bow my head. Jay said he prefers to be greeted that way. No kisses, hugs and handshakes.

I am grateful that Jay and I are even greeting each other. Jay has unfriended me twice on Facebook. Each time, it was because of our differing beliefs.

Let's simply put it this way. Jay is a conservative. I am a liberal. I think, for example, that the Affordable Health Care Act is one of the milestone legislations ever in US history.  On the other hand, Jay abhors "Obamacare."

So when I share or post something on Facebook touting the Affordable Health Care Act, I can be sure to get a disparaging comment from Jay to which I respond  That has always been how Jay unfriends me.  So far, he has unfriended me twice.

Last weekend, seeing Jay in a light mood while we were both enjoying our favorite band, I gained enough fortitude to ask Jay if we could be friends on Facebook again. "Afterall," I said, "we've always made up in the past."

Besides, I did not see the differences between our beliefs as reasons not to be friends. That's exactly what happens at the national and the international levels. People fight over differences in religion, skin color, gender preferences, politics, resources, money. And before anyone has blinked an eye, the backyard fights have escalated into full-blown wars between nations.

Although Jay and I are just small cogs in the overall scheme, we don't have to be a reflection of the bigotry and hate going on in the world.

"Can we be Facebook friends again?" I asked Jay in a plaintive note.

Jay did give it a thought. And then he said :"Probably not yet. I'm going to root for Ted Cruz. We could be in a fight again."

I wasn't about to give up and gave it another try. "I won't comment on any pro-Ted Cruz post that you will share and you can do the same about any Bernie Sanders post that I will share," I said.

Jay shook his head and walked off.

I'll give it another try next time I see him. Baby steps to love!


Posted with Aloha!
By ARIEL MURPHY
 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not without purpose


About two years ago, I left my  nice snow-white rabbit with a friend. I told my friend that when I'm able to muster enough confidence that I'd be able to care for it, I'll take the rabbit back.

Truth was I had no idea when I'd be able to get my rabbit back or if I'd be able to get it back at all. I was undecided but nevertheless enjoyed the thought that my rabbit would be looked after because my friend cared enough to do it.

Eventually, I left the matter of the rabbit for the Universe to decide on. I told myself that if the rabbit was really for me, it will be mine no matter how long it takes me to get it back.

A couple of days ago, without any clue as to what prompted it, I emailed my friend about getting the rabbit back.

It was uncharacteristic of my friend to take a while to answer my email. But when I read the response, I understood the reason for the delay.

"I am really sorry but I thought that you no longer wanted the rabbit. So I made it into a stew," my friend said.

What I learned?

Sometimes it takes seconds and at other times it takes months and even years  to get an answer but sooner or later if you tune in closely you will recognize what you are being told.




Posted with Aloha!
- By ARIEL MURPHY

Sunday, July 19, 2015

People in our lives



On the way to a party the other day, I started thinking of why our lives cross those of others.  This was revealed to me: 



Photo from google.com
Love heals!

Posted with Aloha
- BY ARIEL MURPHY

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Programs and patterns


Over dinner last night, guests and I talked about how the US Supreme Court upheld marriage equality for homosexuals.  My friend Greg then recounted how a good friend of his who was a foreigner wanted to hold hands with him one day while they were walking through a park. 

Greg said that although his friend was not gay the idea of holding hands with another man simply repulsed him. He said that later on he found out that in his friend's country, two men holding hands while walking was quite a normal thing to do and was not an indication nor even a hint of homosexual behavior, as it could be in the US.

Eating etiquette is another program I find amusing.  Emily Post admonishes against chewing noisily with an open mouth.  In Asia and especially in China,  smacking one's lips and making other loud noises while eating are meant to be complimentary. They are signs of appreciation for the food. The louder the sounds made while eating, the happier a host or a cook/chef is.

What we consider as acceptable and unacceptable made me think of the various "programs" we have in our psyche.  Some of our "programs," such as those pertaining to gender behavior, are so deeply engrained that we automatically recoil at an idea that does not fit patterns prescribed in the programs. One of those patterns says that straight men never hold hands with another man.

Greg's story reminded me of a photo I once took. I was inside a store and found a riveting pattern in one of the items for sale.  I thought that if I were to visualize the many programs and patterns that are in every person, I would see something like the photo below.


Posted with Aloha!
- By ARIEL MURPHY

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dancing


There are times when I am blessed as I dance. 

When the twang of a lone guitar starts feeling like a light caress; and when the music is into me even as I am into the music, I feel connected powerfully. And I dance to magnify and celebrate that connection. I fling my arms open wide and move as much of my body as possible to receive and soak in the essence of it all.

As if instinctively, the energy refreshes every cell of my body, healing and restoring so that even if only for a while as I dance I am way more than just myself.  I am you, her, him, they. I am us. I am that part of ourselves that is true, good and beautiful. 

I dance to the music and to what I experience.

If I were to imagine how I would look like when I am in that state of oneness I'd say I look like this photo I took of a Cattleya.


I have to work on being in that state of oneness even if I am not dancing.  Still, I am really deeply grateful.


- Posted with Aloha!
By ARIEL MURPHY

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Self cleansing

In my previous blog, I talked about helping a friend expose an anomaly in  the neighborhood organization that  my friend and I both belong to. The anomaly revolved around a  contract worth hundreds of thousands of money members of the community have contributed.

In helping my friend write his expose I was also learning more about the circumstances around the shadowy contract.  I saw the sleight of hand, the smokes and mirrors, the manipulation.  I was incensed at how officers of the organization not only betrayed the trust of the many but also put the organization at risk for legal liability. I was furious.

In my rage, I sent a message to one of the perpetrators.  I castigated her. I was sarcastic. I was mean.

"For somebody so brilliant, so knowledgeable, so in control, how could you do something so stupid," I said.

 I even became somewhat physical when I  ended my message with this: "Do yourself a favor and give your manipulators a crisp. hard, resounding smack on the face."

But the satisfaction I felt was only temporary. I was bothered by what I wrote. I was not in a state of love. The "Shadow" had claimed me just as it did the perpetrators of the anomaly. I was horrified at how I was being corrupted.

As I write this, I try to see  with love.  It is difficult and I am still trying,  aware that this is a case of the rubber meeting the road.  If I claim love, I must be in love.  A shift in my heart requires a corresponding mind shift.

 "She is only a victim," I tell myself.

While I do not condone what she did and still believe that she has to come to terms with the gravity of what she has done, if  I shut the door on her I am only a "resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."


Posted with Aloha
- By ARIEL MURPHY

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beauty and beast


For several days until yesterday, I was tied to my computer like a baby's umbilical cord is to its mother. I did not socialize. I  did not surf the internet. I did not log on to Facebook or Google+. In fact I even  deleted the Facebook app from my smarter- than- me cellphone.

I was focused on helping a friend write a memorandum exposing irregularities in the solicitation and award of a bid for a road project. A monstrous darkness  has imperceptibly crept into the community organization in which my friend and I were volunteers. 

The darkness arrived camouflaged  like wolf under sheep's clothing.  Not long after its entry into the organization  its tentacles  were inching their way into the nooks and crannies of the group. Unnoticed by those who didn't know any better, the darkness spawned corruption one after another. Deception and viciousness had a field day.    Hatred was so thick you could slice it with a knife.

Strangely, I both enjoyed and loathed writing for my friend.  I loved exposing the anomalies and indicting the crooks, especially since big money was involved.

But I  did not like how I felt in the course of writing the memo and learning about what happened.  It was as if the very darkness  had wormed itself into my heart. I was getting angry. I found myself thirsting for blood.

Looking back, I remember taking many showers and doing a lot of vigorous scrubbing as if in cleaning my body I could also purify my soul.

The darkness harvested the minds and souls of some people in the community organization. It was about to take mine when the Universe sent help. One lifeline was in the form of a Celebration of Life gathering. The other was a movie called The Book Thief.

Eleanor was in her 90s when she passed on. Although she was an artist and known in the community, I never met her. I was at her Celebration of Life gathering because she was the mother of my best friend's friend.  An eulogy given during Eleanor's celebration of life gathering particularly struck me.  One of Eleanor's granddaughters said that she will always remember her grandmother telling her to be conscious of the things and people around her, find the beauty in them, and create art.

The Book Thief was a deep mine of wisdom and an accurate commentary about the dual nature of man.  The narrator never revealed  his identity but for me he was Death itself.  Death had many memorable lines in the movie. One of them was this.


- Posted with Aloha
By ARIEL MURPHY

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Getting out of the funk


I confess that I was out of whack most days recently.  I suspect that my depression may have something to do with Michael’s death anniversary last Tuesday.  Remembering  the events  leading to  the day Michael died is always inevitable.

Funny how easy it is to go into sadness. And we all visit that place at one time or another. All I have to do is call in the troops. That particular battalion is named Regret. 
Here’s the formula: Sadness1 + Regrets +Sadness2 = Depression.  So now you get the picture.
 
I felt better  the other day, Friday.  I always look forward to   Fridays and Saturdays, my dance evenings.    I’m a certified card-carrying danceaholic.  And I know that someday I just might be lucky  enough to be famous. I just might go down in history as  the originator of the 12 Steps for Danceaholics Anonymous!   One of those steps will require  using one’s hips to illustrate the number “8”.  In some places, this dance step is called “Ocho-Ocho.” So now you get the picture. :)
What? I’m delusional?
I’d rather call myself hopelessly optimistic. 
Now how did I come up with that oxymoron?
The dancing made me feel better last Friday.  Yesterday, something I saw  boosted my spirits more and a seeming affirmation that everything is working towards my highest good.   The flyer jumped right out at me from  Mara's post on Facebook . It was a needed reminder and my marching  orders.

I got out of my funk. And I am grateful.
 

 
 Posted with Aloha!
- ARIEL MURPHY