June 27, 2010

The Oil Spill

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children, Cleaning, Health, Money, News, Travel, Weather tagged , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana


"Make my hands respect the things you have"

There is a great environmental tragedy happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it affects our entire planet.

I wanted to address the issue, to acknowledge the unprecedented affliction, torment and suffering, but my words feel inadequate and shallow.

What can I say that hasn’t been said? What wisdom can I offer?

I will let this beautiful Native American Prayer speak for me. It says everything, and much more, that I wanted to express.

Native American Prayer

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)

Source: http://www.sapphyr.net/natam/quotes-nativeamerican.htm


March 19, 2010

Plains, Trains and Automobiles

Posted in Children, Travel tagged , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Liliana

The City of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans

Yesterday was travel day for several kids in my family.

My daughter Nena and my nephew Sasha go to the same college. Their spring break started yesterday. Each had a trip planned. Nena traveled to Chicago and from there she and her fiancé, Peter, took the overnight train to New Orleans. At around eight in the evening she texted her dad, “Do you know what this train is called?” Jeff knew. It was called the City of New Orleans. So she and Peter traveled on the City of New Orleans to the city of New Orleans. I hope Nena writes a poem about this. I know she had the old song running through her head.

Sasha, and four of his college friends, were starting their drive to Panama City, Florida, at eight o’clock the same evening. Sasha had sprained his ankle while playing basketball the previous week, so we were a little worried. But he had no intention of canceling this adventure. These kids have been working hard and with their graduation coming in June, real life will be upon them before they know it. They wanted one last vacation together.  I called to wish him a good trip. “Have a great time,” I said, “and be good.” He said he would. We didn’t elaborate.

At the very time that Nena and Sasha were leaving on their trips, my son Mike was flying home from Santiago, Chile. He had been traveling in South America for four months, and was coming home to get ready for law school. Sam and I spent the evening getting Mike’s room ready. Sam vacuumed, while I dusted and placed fresh linens on the bed. As the last touch, we placed a vase of fresh daffodils on the night stand.

That is what families do. Say good-byes, send best wishes for glorious journeys, and welcome their travelers back. Life is good.