Friday, April 30, 2010

O Really is for the Big O...and I do not mean Osceola

Our Alphabe-Thursday blogging friend, Jacque, had me going this morning with her post on The BigO. With all the creative juices flowing out there in Alphabe-Thursday Land I was thinking that one or more of our many founts of wit would not overlook what we might all collectively refer to as the Big O. So, feeling unusually bold, I will do this thing...and there is not much time left in which to do it.

Yes, Orgasm...I said it, I wrote me a rebel...

Needless to say, I am not going to elaborate on it. If you choose to want to know more, Wikipedia does a slam dunk job of offering more or less all you need to know. One item that I find interesting is that many Tantrics seek to eliminate it. Eliminate the Big O...not easy this week.

Yes, I imagine that our illustrious teacher, Miss Jenny, was sweating bullets, wondering, worrying that someone would up the ante from her prescribed PG content ratings. Well, I am trying, but can only muster a PG-13....sorry. I will leave you however with some lines from a work by the famous, or perhaps infamous, Percy Bysshe Shelley...he has a certain flair for speaking about such things, whereas I would fail you in glorious fashion...Peace and blessings to you all...

"The Serchio, twisting forth
Between the marble barriers which it clove
At Ripafratta, leads through the dread chasm
The wave that died the death which lovers love,
Living in what it sought; as if this spasm
Had not yet passed, the toppling mountains cling,
But the clear stream in full enthusiasm
Pours itself on the plain...."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Objects from The Odditorium

Oh me, Oh my, Oh no, Oh yes!
What "O" should I pick,
What "O" would be best?

I could write an Ode,
But that would be long...
And taxing to you,
And soon you'd be gone.

So I will do what I do best.
Pick a bit of this and a bit of that,
From what I'll call Jeff's nest.

So, without further ado, and with my most favored Odalisque by my side, I began, with a certain Obduracy, the Operose task of Obambulating about, selecting Omnigenous Objects from my Odditorium for your Oblectation.

Thanks to Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, where you can find Oh sOOO many wonderful, alphabetically inspired posts.

Jenny Matlock

O is for Ollas from Mata Ortiz
O is for Orange flowers
I had to leave the Odditorium for these
O is for opals from Australia
Known as "Boulder Opals"
O is for Ornithologist as depicted in this
19th century engraving
O is for Osprey as drawn for this Audubon
1st royal Octavo edition
O is for Owls in this Audubon
1st Octavo edition
...and these carved Owls from
Mexico, India, and Bali
O is for Orb as seen in
this crystal ball
...and the mOOn above,
it makes me feel small
"Oh moon...won't you send your light,
And tell my mother for me, cross the sea
Her boy is alright?"

- lyrics from the song, Oh, Moon of the Summer Night,
by Allan J. Flynn, 1918

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It is fitting that I choose the word "Nature" for my Alphabe-Thursday post. Tomorrow marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. What could I do for this post that might educate, influence opinion and quite possibly alter the course of events in the Natural world? I will come to that in a moment.

Nature is a term with broad, although mostly related, meanings. The term entered the English language in the 14th century. It was derived from the Latin term "Natura", meaning "that which has been born".

The term Nature is often used to refer to the "Natural environment" as disconnected from humanity and all that has been brought into existence by human effort, mind, or consciousness. I am of the opinion that this separation or disconnection has been one of our biggest mistakes.

My academic background and much of my life's work makes this week's Alphabe-Thursday pick for me a "Natural selection" (Darwin would be grinning now). It gives me an opportunity to climb onto my soapbox for a short while, and let you wonderful, Alphabe-Thursday Nymphs know about a Nature related situation that is of concern to me...The Plight of Wolves.

Grey wolves have only been recently brought back from near extermination in the lower 48 states. Current populations in the Northern Rockies of the Western U.S. are under threat once again, as Governors of these states are opening up hunting of these beautiful animals. Consensus opinion of wildlife scientists and managers does not support the actions taken by the Governors of these Rocky Mtn. states. These Governors have succumbed to a vocal minority of hunters hell-bent on freedom to shoot anything. Recent lifting of Federal protection for wolves has opened the floodgates for this vocal hunting minority, which chooses threats and intimidation to sway state government opinion. IMHO, hunting wolves is akin to shooting dogs. In Alaska, where the populations are much healthier, former Governor Palin created a bounty for wolves, where a front leg fetches $300. In Alaska they are often hunted from the air, when 'hunters' will use airplanes and helicopters to chase down wolves running in deep snow until they tire. Often they are illegally shot from the aircraft. The meat of these animals in rarely used. The pelts remain as a tribute to a 'hunter's' ability to shoot a dog. IMHO it is cruel, inhumane, and senseless. I urge you to research this issue. the Defenders of Wildlife organization is a good place to start. They are front and center in the fight for wolf protection.

The first two photos below are of endangered Red Wolves. These two wolves are part of a captive breeding/reintroduction program at our Chattanooga Nature Center. Their offspring have been, and will continue to be released in protected areas within their historic range. Please forgive the photo quality as I was shooting through chain-link fencing. The other photos were taken during an outing this week to the same Nature Center with MrsC (yes, we are now venturing out once again for brief photo excursions). Have a glorious Earth Day! FYI, you can double click on the photos to enlarge, and you should click on Playlist song #20 as you check out the photos. Thank you to Jenny Matlock, our illustrious "teacher" for Alphabe-Thursday.

Peace and blessings
Shalom aleichem

Horse whisperer MrsC !

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Miracle of Flowers

Welcome to all that are visiting here. I worked very hard to catch up last week with my A-Fs. I can now breathe more freely and focus on this week's work on the letter "M".

So Many Magical and Mysterious "M" words. As I Mulled over the possibilities, they just seemed to Multiply. Not wanting to make a Mountain from a Molehill, I asked Myself , "what am I doing here...what is My blogging all about"? Simply, it is a Mirror to My soul, that you, Alphabe- Maidens one and all, Might have a glimpse into the Myth, the Mustached Man. Moreover, to accomplish this without high-level Mathematics, Maculomancy, or Mactation.

So, what "M" word would illuminate this Mirror to My soul? Miracles. I believe in them, I see them, I have experienced them, and, given the season, what better way to explore the subject than by looking into the Miracle of Flowers.

Flowers are so representative of all the Miracles of nature. In the flower we can not only see and experience the Miracles of reproduction, budding, blossoming, life giving beauty and, yes, death...we can see ourselves. Each of us is a flower, our lives unfolding much as a flower unfolds.

We are often asked if we could be an animal, what animal would we be. I ask...if you could be a flower, what flower would you be?

I do hope you enjoy the stories and pictures below. I have enjoyed putting them together for you...the Alphabe-Thursday, Modern, Miracle Maidens.

Downwind from Flowers

Several years ago in Seattle, Washington, there lived a 52-year old Tibetan refugee, "Tenzin," as I will call him, who was diagnosed with one of the more curable forms of lymphoma. He was admitted to the hospital and received his first dose of chemotherapy. But during the treatment, this usually gentle man became extremely angry and upset. He pulled the IV out of his arm and refused to cooperate. He shouted at the nurses and became argumentative with everyone who came near him. The doctors and nurses were baffled.

Then Tenzin's wife spoke to the hospital staff. She told them Tenzin had been held as a political prisoner by the Chinese for 17 years. They killed his first wife and repeatedly tortured and brutalized him throughout his imprisonment. She told them that the hospital rules and regulations, coupled with the chemotherapy treatments, gave Tenzin horrible flashbacks of what had suffered at the hands of the Chinese.

"I know you mean to help him," she said, "but he feels tortured by your treatments. They are causing him to feel hatred inside ~ just like he felt toward the Chinese. He would rather die than have to live with the hatred he is now feeling. And, according to our belief, it is very bad to have hatred in your heart at the time of death. He needs to be able to pray and cleanse his heart."

So the doctors discharged Tenzin and asked the hospice team to visit him in his home. I was the hospice nurse assigned to his care. I called a local representative from "Amnesty International" for advice. He told me that the only way to heal the damage from torture is to "talk it through." "This person has lost his trust in humanity and feels hope is impossible," the man said. "If you are to help him, you must find a way to give him hope." But when I encouraged Tenzin to talk about his experiences, he held up his hand and stopped me. He said, "I must learn to love again if I am to heal my soul. Your job is not to ask me questions. Your job is to teach me to love again."

I took a deep breath. I asked him, "So, how can I help you love again?" Tenzin immediately replied, "Sit down, drink my tea and eat my cookies." Tibetan tea is strong black tea laced with yak butter and salt. It isn't easy to drink! But that is what I did. For several weeks, Tenzin, his wife, and I sat together, drinking tea. We also worked with his doctors to find ways to treat his physical pain. But it was his spiritual pain that seemed to be lessening. Each time I arrived, Tenzin was sitting cross-legged on his bed, reciting prayers from his books. As time went on, he and his wife hung more and more colorful "thankas," Tibetan Buddhist banners, on the walls. The room was fast becoming a beautiful, religious shrine.

When the spring came, I asked Tenzin what Tibetans do when they are ill in the spring. He smiled brightly and said, "We sit downwind from flowers." I thought he must be speaking poetically. But Tenzin's words were quite literal. He told me Tibetans sit downwind so they can be dusted with the new blossoms' pollen that floats on the spring breeze. They feel this new pollen is strong medicine. At first, finding enough blossoms seemed a bit daunting. Then, one of my friends suggested that Tenzin visit some of the local flower nurseries. I called the manager of one of the nurseries and explained the situation. The manager's initial response was: "You want to do what?" But when I explained the request, the manager agreed.

So, the next weekend, I picked up Tenzin and his wife with their provisions for the afternoon: black tea, butter, salt, cups, cookies, prayer beads and prayer books. I dropped them off at the nursery and assured them I would return at 5:00.

The following weekend, Tenzin and his wife visited another nursery. The third weekend, they went to yet another nursery.

The fourth week, I began to get calls from the nurseries inviting Tenzin and his wife to come again. One of the managers said, "We've got a new shipment of nicotiana coming in and some wonderful fuchsias and oh, yes! Some great daphne. I know they would love the scent of that daphne! And I almost forgot! We have some new lawn furniture that Tenzin and his wife might enjoy."

Later that day, I got a call from the second nursery saying that they had colorful wind socks that would help Tenzin predict where the wind was blowing. Pretty soon, the nurseries were competing for Tenzin's visits. People began to know and care about the Tibetan couple. The nursery employees started setting out the lawn furniture in the direction of the wind. Others would bring out fresh hot water for their tea. Some of the regular customers would leave their wagons of flowers near the two of them. At the end of the summer, Tenzin returned to his doctor for another CT scan to determine the extent of the spread of the cancer. But the doctor could find no evidence of cancer at all. He was dumbfounded. He told Tenzin that he just couldn't explain it.

Tenzin lifted his finger and said, "I know why the cancer has gone away. It could no longer live in a body that is filled with love. When I began to feel all the compassion from the hospice people, from the nursery employees, and all those people who wanted to know about me, I started to change inside. Now, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to heal in this way. Doctor, please don't think that your medicine is the only cure. Sometimes compassion can cure cancer, as well."

by Lee Paton

Front cover of the Miracle Flower by Moina Michael.

Moina Belle Michael

The Flanders Fields Red Poppy was first created as a symbol of Remembrance by an American teacher, Miss Moina Belle Michael.Moina described the way that the idea for a memorial emblem of the red poppy came to her in a moment of revelation. Moina's fascinating autobiography, ”The Miracle Flower, The Story of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy” was published in 1941. Moina dedicates the book to the late Colonel John McCrae, whose poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ was the inspiration for her idea of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy.As a result of Moina Michael's tireless campaigning, her complete dedication to the cause and the inspiration her idea gave to others, the delicate flower of the red field poppy has become an internationally-recognized symbol of Remembrance and welfare for war veterans.

A very interesting story via Youtube...

My flower photographs were taken last weekend at a nearby wildflower sanctuary called Pigeon Pocket.

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change" - Siddhartha Buddha


bud petal blossom
flowering miracles veil
the darkness within

-jeff campbell

I would like to thank Ms Jenny Matlock for providing this opportunity to learn about ourselves and each other on Alphabe-Thursday...

Peace and blessings
Shalom aleichem

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"L" is For The Way You Look At Me

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can...

It's Alphabe-Thursday once again...
We are to letter "L",
Where shall I begin?

"Love" is on my plate. Love is always on my plate. It's a miracle there is ever any room for sweet potatoes and collards.

Last week someone commented that I should have to make up all those letters I had missed, seeing as how I was a "late bloomer" to Alphabe-Thursday. I agree. So this week I will take on A-F with 'things I Love' for each letter. I apologize for the length, which is mostly due to posting so many photographs. I have tried to select some special ones. I hope you do enjoy them.
Love and peace to all...

"Like she loves me like a rock,
She rocks me like the rock of ages..."
"A" is for Art...

...and Architecture

"B" is for Birds...

"It's closer to the truth
To say you can't get enough,
You know you're gonna have to face it,
You're addicted to Love..."
...and Bridges...

...and Butterflies...
...and Bees
"C" is for Chipmunks...
...and Cemeteries...

...and Clouds...

...and Crosses

"D" is for Dolphins...I am against captive Dolphins,
but this is the only photo I have...
...and my Dog, Reuben...
"Love, love me do,
You know I love you,
I'll always be true,
So ple-e-ease,
Love me do, whoa, love me do..."

"E" is for that I like...

"Wouldn't you agree,
Baby, you and me,
We've got a groovy kind of Love?"
"F" is for Fish...
...and Fishing...
...and Fossils

...and Flowers...

...and Friends

...and Finally, "F" is for my best Friend, the HappyMrsC
"Bright are the stars that shine,
Dark is the sky,
I know this Love of mine,
Will never die,
And I Love her..."
Love is big...Love is small...Love is in everything...Or nothing at all...
-jeff campbell