It is not what he has,
nor even what he does,
which directly expresses
the worth of a man,
but what he is.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel ~
You of magnificent beauty.
You soar, you leap, you create.
You allow molten tears to scald my heart,
to carve deep channels of pain and loss.
Yet those random channels follow a course as old as time…
No — older — pulled in a direction already known.
And so the tears flow, scarring my heart.
They sear into my soul,
then collect into a reservoir
carpeted in the velvet of midnight.
No movement. Into the abyss of despair.
Then a glimmer…faint.
No — silence; all is still.
Then, a swirl — a spiral —
of blues and turquoise, of teal and purple —
spearing the darkness with light.
Dancing, sparkling, shooting upward.
You glimmer and spark and shimmer
as you bounce across the heavens.
Moving toward the darkest of broken places,
leaving brilliant cascades of shimmering light
in Your wake.
Until each of those bursts of shimmering light
coalescence into a kaleidoscope of magnificent beauty.
I am struck. I gasp. I kneel, only to collapse.
My tears immerse me in baptism
until my heart explodes in a whirlwind of color,
and the love pours over me, through me.
Its wings envelop me,
and I soar toward that which is
almost painful to gaze upon.
I cannot look, but I must see.
Racing, longing, streaming toward the place of my creation —
of all creation — of oneness. Whole.
I left, only to return.
I wept, only to gasp.
I burned, only to temper.
The vibration. The fire.
I dissolve. I merge. I end.
I begin. I am home.
I am. Yours.
This is What Character Looks Like
When an assisted living home in California shut down last fall, many of its residents were left behind, with nowhere to go.
The staff at the Valley Springs Manor left when they stopped getting paid — except for cook Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez, the janitor.
“There was about 16 residents left behind, and we had a conversation in the kitchen, ‘What are we going to do?’ ” Rowland says.
“If we left, they wouldn’t have nobody,” the 34-year-old Alvarez says.
Their roles quickly transformed for the elderly residents, who needed round-the-clock care.
“I would only go home for one hour, take a shower, get dressed, then be there for 24-hour days,” says Alvarez.
Rowland, 35, remembers passing out medications during those long days. He says he didn’t want to leave the residents — some coping with dementia — to fend for themselves.
“I just couldn’t see myself going home — next thing you know,
they’re in the kitchen trying to cook their own food and burn the place down,” Rowland says.“Even though they wasn’t our family,
they were kind of like our family for this short period of time.”
For Alvarez, the situation brought back memories from his childhood.
“My parents, when they were younger, they left me abandoned,” he says. “Knowing how they are going to feel, I didn’t want them to go through that.”
Alvarez and Rowland spent several days caring for the elderly residents of Valley Springs Manor until the fire department and sheriff took over.
The incident led to legislation in California known as the Residential Care for the Elderly Reform Act of 2014.
“If I would’ve left, I think that would have been on my conscience for a very long time,” says Rowland.
Source: The Kindness Blog
[9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Week]
She was beautiful.
Dressed in a fashionable ensemble, a dusty rose hijab with black piping covering her hair, she stood hesitant, alone, lost.
I asked how I could help. Her voice quiet, reserved, she told me her son was not quite 19 years old when he was called to the towers on 9/11 as a first responder.
No, this 18-year-old young man did not die that day, at least not in the physical sense. Instead, what he saw that day brought him to a place for the living dead – into the world of addiction. Her son was living and breathing, but for 8 long years, they lost him to the downward spiral that was the world of drugs.
But they never gave up on him.
And now he was on his feet, clean and sober, struggling to view the world with clear and steady eyes. He wasn’t yet ready to view the reality of the museum, so his mother was here in his stead.
If only we could offer easy answers for his difficult questions, but we are not foolish in the aftermath.
She grabbed both of my hands and clutched them tightly.
“You can probably tell I’m Muslim. I almost didn’t come today because I didn’t know how I would be received. I didn’t know if I would be accepted.”
My heart broke.
“We are all Americans here,” I answered softly, squeezing her hand in reassurance. “We’re different, but yet we’re all the same.”
After all, those we lost on 9/11 represented more than 90 countries. And she, in a way, lost her son for 8 long years, but at least got him back.
Three thousand other families could not say the same.
Muslim? Christian? Hindu? Buddhist? Agnostic? Atheist? Something else?
It didn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter.
We all lost some one, some thing, a part of ourselves that day. Let us stand united.
Hate solves nothing, while love and peace benefit all.
We are One.
This is a love letter between Bennet, a little boy with cancer, and Baily, both age 4. It was posted on Reddit recently and has been going viral ever since.
The note reads:
Will you please come to my house? Let’s play together.
I think you are pretty like a horse or a ladybug.
I’m not sure which. You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me.
I love you and I lost a tooth last night.
I think I would like to do a magic trick for you and then let you watch me battle robots.
BuzzFeed News got in touch with Bennet’s mum to ask about how Bennet and Baily were doing now.
Bennet got the idea to write a letter when he saw his mum writing an email to a friend:
“I asked him who he wanted to send a letter to and he stated, “Baily of course”. So, he sat down next to me on the couch and dictated the letter and I typed word for word what he said.”
Bennet and Baily have been in school together for two years:
“He talks constantly about her and how much he loves her “yellow hair”. He will be having his 5th birthday party in a few weeks and the theme is knights and princesses, he is over the moon knowing that Baily will be dressed as a princess.”
Jennifer thinks people have really responded to the letter because it was so honest.
“He loves “cheeses” , battling a box robot I made him, and he did just lose a tooth and since he was the first in his class to do so, what little girl wouldn’t be impressed?
Of course Baily is a bit awkward at just 4 years old and really doesn’t know what to think about Bennet. Honestly, I think he overwhelms her a bit.”
Jennifer says the attention the letter has received has cheered her up while waiting for Bennet’s chemotherapy sessions.
“I have to say that the attention the letter has received has put a smile on my face, as Bennet was a very sick kid. He was diagnosed with cancer at 6 months old and actually goes up for one of his last cancer checks in Portland, Oregon very soon. I’m always nervous about these checks and this has been a nice distraction.”
Source: The Kindness Blog