Happy Thanksgiving

autumn leavesIt is Thanksgiving Weekend here in the Great Not-White-Yet North – traditionally a time of gratitude for all that you have been blessed to receive during the past year, and a prayer of thanks for all you hope to receive in the year to come.

Here it is also Autumn – a time when the leaves turn many colors, and at their perfect time, carpet the ground below. They dance midst the winds with a kind of reckless abandon as though they know their time is running short. I find myself incredibly grateful to watch them on this sunny day. I have always loved the dance of leaves.

I am grateful also for you, wherever you are – friends and strangers – those who click ‘like’ here and those who choose to ‘follow’. Thank you for dipping into the well that is 22shangrila and thank you for hanging around. Whether we have met or not, you make everything a bit brighter.

We live in an exquisitely beautiful world. Not always easy to remember in the midst of chaos, I know. So thank you for noticing its beauty, for taking the time to breathe it in, and for honoring it in your lives. For that, and for all you dare to do that is full of love, I am most grateful.

To you all, and to this very special planet which we all call home – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

May your days be ever blessed with love.

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for New Zealand…

This article (and its added poem, which I posted here years ago) is long, so I hope you will hang in and continue reading. And if it strikes a chord in your heart, please share. It is my feeling that New Zealand could use your prayers today.

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I AWOKE THIS MORNING to learn of the latest earthquake in New Zealand, a country that, as many know, is prone to such things. Some report it as a 7.5, others as a 7.8. Either way you look at it, it was large. Unlike the Christchurch earthquake, this one was inland and deeper. It was also bigger. The subsequent aftershocks have been large, shallow, and some have migrated northward. And there have been beginning tsunamis and casualties.

BACKTRACK, IF YOU WILL, to 2011. This time I wasn’t on the other side of the ocean. I was landing in Auckland – two hours after the Christchurch earthquake hit. As I watched the story unfold day after day for the next two weeks with all its aftershocks and increasingly bleak coverage, and as I personally walked small forest trails and ocean’s black sands, stared at calm sunsets and wild cloudy skies, I found myself touched beyond measure.

THIS WRITING BELOW feels as important to me now as it did then. As I read it again, I couldn’t help but feel that tucked within, there is perhaps a message for us all. It is a small homage to the spirit and heart of the Land of the Long White Cloud and of its people. New Zealanders, in my experience, are a strong kind people. That doesn’t mean your prayers and caring aren’t needed. So again, if this writing touches you, feel free to pass it on. Perhaps in the telling its heart song will help ease the way a little.

Digital Camera

 

       LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD

                                                                                                                  ©Aliana Alani 2011

 

LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD – AOTEAROA – Where stories linger like slender strings of tiny ocean pearls within your billowy sleeves of cloudlike memory. Where sky and sea walk hand in hand and in their mirage-like mist worlds both old and new appear to hover, and on their very edges ethereal doors stand ready to be entered, to share gifts perhaps waiting to be given. Is it but a dream to feel this way? And yet somehow, I think not.

                Kia Ora, you say.

                Aloha, I answer. For that is what I know in my heart.

Heart – the door you offer, at least to me – the chance to enter a land of ancient openness and be at peace, to walk with ease again along the corridors of time. As if a jewel had been here patiently waiting to be retrieved and lived anew. Strange to find you now, for I have landed on your shores when the earth is rumbling mightily and the ring of shifting sands and olden fissures is making itself known. Breaking through the seeming solidness of life and coughing up its innards for the entire world to see.

                Kia Kaha, you say, for you have been through this before and know no fear.

Is that the opportunity, when all else falls away, to know no fear? To know that life always begins anew, that if we open our hearts and trust the birth, it can perhaps be even better than before, that we are strong in spirit no matter what?

I am touched by the hearts of people on this land of yours, Oh Long White Cloud. Touched by their generosity and kindness in the midst of devastation – their willingness to reach out and help another. It is the humaneness within humanity, is it not – to offer aid without question or condition? Too often we forget this as we stride our world of ever-increasing gadgets and sound bites. Your people are helping us to remember.

Ke Aloha Aotearoa, your beauty is astounding. Gods have walked upon your earth and fished in your waters. Songs have been sung in your honour and winds have dashed your shores. Mountains high and long have risen dressed in snowy garments. And films have told stories of Middle Earths and Hobbit kingdoms. You are part of a realm we now call, The Pacific. But somehow you are part of something else as well. It lives within the very fabric of your air, and hence within the fabric of your people. Amongst all else, it is a strength of heart and the never-ending ability to dare to weave new story into life, no matter what. A wondrous gift this is for the world to see and feel. Thank you for bringing it to our table.

Kia Kaha, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. Kia Kaha New Zealand.

You are loved.

 

 

 

And now for something different…

I usually don’t post other people’s work on this site. In fact I think I’ve only done it once before. But recently this poem came my way, having been written by a friend. Created in the midst of yet another migraine, it is intense, raw; the word ‘visceral’ comes to mind. However, it is also, to me, incredibly well-written so I offer it to you.

The author’s name is Jorge A. S. Pereira. If you want to make contact with him, he can be reached at – poetofeverydaytruth at gmail.com

whatajokeofmadness

by: Jorge A. S. Pereira ©2015

I
whopperofaheadache
no
amigraine
afuckinmigraine
again
throbbingpounding
cantbelieveitheadache
likeahammeronacoconut
shellabouttocrackandsplit
notagainmigraine
likebraininironcage
tossedandbangedaround
stuckandcantgetout
fuckincagedinpain
itsadevilinsidethehead
takingpillsforit
aroundtheclock
likenursing
no
likenursingno
appeasingrelentlessmonster
yamonsterofmigraine
sotiredoflivingwithmigraine
thatgotamakeyouold
thataloneagesandcrumbles
andthatsnotenough
thisfuckinmigraine
nonono
othehearthastojoinin
acheslikehelltoo
beatskipsandspeeds
goesallerratic
othepain
thepainofsuddenstabbing
thepainoflongneedle
reallylongneedle
slowlyinjectedandgoingin
fuckindeepgoingin

//

cantbelieveitmigraine
cantbelieveitheartache
allatonceonegiganticpain
everymomentfeelsproblematic
yanotagain
itslikeaninvaderinthehome
yourfuckinhome
onceinman
youcantgethimoutquickly
nosir
hetakeshissweettime
youkeepproddinghimgently
notupsethimyousee
hopinghefuckinleavessoon
itsnevertoosoon
forthecagedbrain
screaminginpain
heck
forthecagedmindeven
maybeonlyonecurethen
tositinthequietlandscape
yathelandscapeofsolitude
intotaldarkness
orsomedimlighting
thatsright
thetypeofdarknessandlighting
ofalunarnight
waydeepinthecountryside
likeyoualone
inthemiddleoftheuniverse
thatsright
justalone
somewherealone
inaveryquietuniverse
justenoughlighttoseewhereiamgoing
shit
justtoseewhereiam
forthisfaintheart
thisficklemind
onlythesimplegentlepleasures
nottoofastnottoosudden

///

evenslowandgentle
fuckincrazy
evenslowandgentle
canbetoomuch
thatshowcrazy
amistrongtojustbehere
orplainstupidtotolerate
theseraspymomentsthatgrate
soiamhere
withawhopperofamigraine
arattledbrain
hopingforrelief
soonisverygood
hopingforlongmomentstobebrief
nothereyet
couldlastaweekibet
likemanytimesbefore
thesedevilsknockingonmydoor
soidancewiththefuckininvader
dancewiththefuckinmonster
strangehowthebodyfeelslikeatraitor
strangehowyoufeelpossessedbyyourownmind
whatatriplifeis
peaceofmindwouldbegood
butawisegurutoldthatsinsane
youeitherhavepeace
youeitherhavemind
youcannothavethemtogether
youhavetodecidewhichofthetwo
yawhatatriplifeis

////

soisithere
multiplepainandall
draggingtobewell
likeanangelthatsufferedafall
seekingtogazeonasaintlyface
tofeelwrappedbyholiness
theholinessofnature
thatsanctityofnature
naturethatsthefaceofthegoddess
thesmilinggoddess
thatsright
iseekhertouchandpresence
todrowninherembraceandsolace
thereimayfeelabitofmyessence

/////

fuck
whoknowsanyway
thewholefuckinworldisdelusional
everythinginitisdelusional
andthatmeansmeandeverybeing
sowhatthen
sowhatnow
fuckinnothing
trytothinknothing
trytodonothing
justfuckinsitandsit
andletthestormpassby
thatsright
waitandwaitandwait
maybeiamdoingjustfine
amstillhereaminot
wellthatswhereeverythingstartsandends
thatgotabesomething
right
here
now
whatelsebuthereandnow