Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Treat

Yesterday, as hurricane Flossie landed on the Big Island of Hawaii,   electricity to my house was cut off. Brittle branches of Albizia trees thought it a good time to fall in love with electric wires in my neighborhood.

Frustrated with my dead phone, dark house, and unresponsive computer, I sought refuge at a friend's house, which was  spared from power interruption.

As Flossie alternately whined and bellowed, my friend and I sat down and played scrabble all the while challenging and ribbing each other.

The good company, the merlot I was sipping and  music I was listening to made that time one of the most enjoyable I've had in a while. Good energies there!

I arranged the letters on the scrabble board  of a word I had in mind.   At first I didn't realize the significance of my move. And then I smiled.

Outside, Flossie played passive-aggressive.  And there I was having a good time. 

The Universe made sure that I was conscious of its humor. 

What a wonderful treat! 

I was grateful.

Here's the word I had formed on the scrabble board:

Links to music I listened to:   (David Lanz's Cristofori's Dream)   (Astro's Mezz Bar Blue)

- Ariel Murphy 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Difference Between Men and Women

Whenever they have guests most women entertain by showing off photo albums and offering pies or cakes they have baked. Men, on the other hand, show off their rock and whiskey collections. They offer beer while calling attention to the way it froths and the head forms as the drink settles into a glass. 

- Ariel Murphy

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Today I'm sharing a song called "Kyrie," a link to which may be found towards the end of this post.  The phrase "Kyrie Eleison" is Greek in origin and repeated mantra-like throughout the song. The meaning and significance of the phrase are also provided in a Wikipedia link below.
Although "Kyrie Eleison" has Christian underpinnings, it was set into music in a way that could have universal appeal, like most forms of music do.  Anybody, regardless of religious or spiritual inclination, can choose to relate to the song in any manner desired.
Aloha! Namaste! Assalamu Aleikum! Shalom!
Link to the song:


Link to the meaning of "Kyrie Eleison"

Have a relaxing  weekend! Peace, joy and love to you!

- Ariel Murphy

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Favorite Illusions: A Guest Blog by Mark Shapiro

Romance is probably one of the most popular illusions of mankind. It’s a hit in just about every culture. A song about love found or love lost never needs translation. Even an advertisement about a man and his horse brings tears to my eyes. How can anyone resist the tug at heartstrings as Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn find happiness in each other in “Woman of the Year”? Or, if you’re younger, when Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan come together in “When Harry met Sally”? Or, if you’re younger still, movies like “500 Days of Summer” unfailingly evoke poignant feelings. It’s all the same; the belief that happiness (or misery) can be found in the outer world, and in the case of happiness, that it can last forever.

Free will is another very popular illusion, especially in the Western world. This often cherished notion says that we have the ability to make changes in our lives (for better or for worse) and that this attribute directly counters its opposite, Fate. Both free will and fate, as they are thought of in the Western world, are sub-sets of romance. Both are illusions. How dearly do we want to believe that we have the control to make the world we live in (or ourselves) better? Or, if we believe in fate, how easy life’s decisions are when all is pre-ordained? But what happens if those beliefs are dropped? Who drops them and how is it decided that they should be dropped? Typically, we move between the two extremes, never finding the comfort they promise.

There is a cost to every illusion and,  more often than not, the cost goes unnoticed. It is this dynamic that keeps illusions on the playing field. If I believe that I’m a good person, and yet I do cruel things to others, I will eventually find myself being avoided by those people or  treated poorly in return.  I then will feel victimized by the same ones I’ve hurt, all the while thinking I’m the good one. If I’m unwilling to consider that I’m not as good as I thought, the pattern continues. There is a desire to not look at illusory beliefs, for doing so may upset the delicate balance of the ego mind. And it is the ego mind that clings to illusions.

The ego is a set of beliefs of who and what we are. Typically, we hold on to those beliefs because they seem to offer comfort and security on one side, and guilt on the other side with the fear of losing a sense of one's self. Sounds like a pretty good thing, doesn’t it? And it would be…if it worked. Egos are like projectors; they cast an image we can relate to. The reason it doesn’t work, at least in a lasting way, is because it requires a lot of energy to maintain the illusory self-image, and sooner or later, energy runs low. When the power supply is low, or the power requirements are high (as in a crisis), the image on the screen dims. It is at these moments when we are most capable of looking at the cost of an illusion. More commonly, we become depressed with lost hope.

Hope is the kingpin of any belief. A belief is like a connector between past and future, and hope is the tool that attaches the connector. Hope is more like an attitude than a feeling, and attitudes are one of the few things that we can change. Correspondingly, change happens with a shift in our perspective. Attitudes are investments in the future. Hope is the enticement. All investments have their costs. If the investment pays out, we succeed; if it tanks, we fail.

photo credit:
About Mark Shapiro: Mark was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He lived in California until he moved to Hawaii in 1991, where he currently resides. What happened during this time is of no consequence; the events are only stories. 

When Mark was 8 years old, he liked watching old movies. At 65, he still likes watching old movies. On his 12th birthday, he surfed for the first time. At 13, he learned to play the tuba, which he enjoyed. He no longer plays the tuba but continues to surf. 

Mark was never fond of going to school, until he went to college, where learning was fun. He was one class short of earning his degree in Radio, Television, and Film, but didn’t care because he was working in Public Television. One of the programs he produced was about car repair. He later left television and went back to school to learn auto repair. He set up a business to help people learn about automobile maintenance and diagnosis.

In 1988 he retired because of health issues. He currently drives a 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon with a 5-speed transmission. It’s the best car he has ever owned. 

- Ariel Murphy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Full Moon Rising

Loving is like a full moon rising. You  get a glimpse of the other's spirit.  Goodness glows there.  You are attracted.  Gradually intimacy  increases  baring weaknesses, incompatibilities, red flags.   But challenges and conflicts  pale against the enormity and beauty of Light permeating time and experiences shared with the other.  
 The gift of sight is also a gift of choice.  A full moon rising may be, for some, just another ordinary night.
 For those conscious of their journey,  a full-moon rising is no less than an evening of heart-bursting awe.
Loving is like a full moon rising. 
Link to a full moon rising:
- Ariel Murphy 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Silk Road

I came home late yesterday from my office in town weary and sad. I had to seek help to get my car to start.  Failing to hear from people I had phoned somewhat weighed  me down.  For a while I felt unequivocally alone.
Dreading being stranded at a dark and lonely spot along the highway I pleaded with my car all through the drive home.  My car apparently has compassion. It brought me home without stalling.
I couldn't wait to unwind and forget about my rough day. As soon as  I stepped into my house I played music and opened a bottle of merlot.  
The merlot warmed my body. But here's what warmed my soul:


Friday, July 19, 2013

What is beautiful?

I changed my profile picture on Facebook the other day and was pleasantly surprised by the number of "likes" and comments I received. Juxtapose that with an article (link provided below) I saw on the New York Times dated July 16, 2013 which talked about a woman who was fired by her boss for "being beautiful."

We all know that beauty is relative. What may seem pleasing to my eye may look horrible to others.

Do you like women with long necks?  The Kayan tribes of Myanmar  and Thailand apparently do. The longer her neck, the more attractive a woman becomes to tribe members. Now don't get any ideas. The heavy coils women wear around their necks starting at age 5 only give the illusion of a "giraffe neck."  Reality is that the neckbone and clavicle areas are deformed by the rings making the neck appear elongated.


Some of you may remember Twiggy, who first appeared on the beauty scene in the mid '60s. Twiggy became known for her thin, almost boyish, figure.  To this day, "thin" is a standard of beauty that some women, in their desperation, sadly turn bulimic  or anorexic to achieve that skinny look.


In contrast, some cultures prefer "big women."  The women of Hawaiian royalty in ancient times were so huge they had to be carried from one location to another.  In Mauritania girls used to be  routinely forced-fed through womanhood for the sake of beauty.

Queen Kaahumanu, widow of King Kamehameha ! of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

A woman's lips have always been a focus of attention all over the world.  To make their lips more attractive, the women of the Mursi tribe in Ethipia make it a point to enlarge their lips by using lip plates.  But what happens when they kiss?


The women of the Kalinga and other mountain tribes of the Philippines used to cover their bodies from head to toe with tattoos.

Chinese women used to bind their feet. The unnaturally small feet and the mincing way the women had to walk because of the deformity were said to be especially sexually alluring to Chinese men. A foot fetish?


Obviously there are varying standards of beauty all over the world. As for me, what I consider to be attractive be it in a man or a woman has little to do with the physical.  I  may be drawn to the expression of one's eyes or the way one talks or thinks or, even more important, what I sense of another's spirit.

I've always been attracted to personalities like Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood.  But I'll agree to date R2D2 or even Yoda if any of them asks me. 

R2D2 source:

Yoda  source:
Plato was right, afterall, when he said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

 Link to "Fired for Being Beautiful" :


Thursday, July 18, 2013

On Nelson Mandela Day

Happy birthday Madiba!  Your integrity, wisdom and forgiveness bring honor and hope  to all of humanity!

Link to stories about Nelson Mandela:

- Ariel  Murphy

Friday, July 5, 2013

off for 4th of July Weekend

I'll be back on Wednesday, next week. Please enjoy your weekend.
Thank you!
- Ariel Murphy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July

Happy Birthday, USA!

Photo credit:

Video Link: God Bless America Song

- Ariel Murphy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

People Rise Together

When I heard this song, I thought that the rhythm was catchy and the lyrics uplifting. So I thought of sharing with you the lyrics and  links to videos of two versions of "Rise."

You should believe me
And everything I choose to do
You should believe that I'll
Always come back to you

Life is discovering
The love that we create
Life is a mystery
We need to embrace

In every way
You need to let go
You'll see all your dreams will follow
In every way
You need to let go

People rise together
When they believe in tomorrow
Change the day to forever
This life keeps movin'
(Repeat 2x)

Open your mind and see
We have everything we need
Dream or reality
Fulfill its destiny

In every way
You need to let go
You'll see all your dreams will follow
In every way
You need to let go 


Photo source:

 - Ariel Murphy

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Thought of You

This photo made me think of you.

Photo posted on Facebook by Lara Wu

- Ariel Murphy

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Different Kind of Prison

As Nelson Mandela, whom I consider to be one of humanity's greatest, lays critically ill on a hospital bed, I thought that posting a quote from him would send beams of light and love his way from each one who sees this.

Photo from