NEIGHBORCARE NEWS #24 JUNE '03

"No service is too small when given mindfully, with good intention and an open heart."

thank you, j. adele christ, for your healing service and shining ways.

Barbara Wright WHY I DO THIS: We have needed a group like this for a long time. I am glad to be a part of it. Helping one another is our greatest talent!

Dear neighborcare friends: Recently I played a small part in the Nevola Conference at Colby College for which forgiveness and reconciliation was this year’s theme. What resounded throughout the day reminded me of a section ("mercy on us") of Caring in Remembered Ways I had written a few years before. Here’s an excerpt from that section: "There is nothing each of us has not grown from–foolishness, certainly, and perhaps harm we ourselves committed. Someone we shut out, for whatever reason, might be as we once were, or will be, in this or another lifetime. One moment we are poor, making judgment on the wealthy; the next moment we are rich with inheritance. . . . Not judging people who test our compassion, there is room for good to grow–in them, and in us–though we might never reconcile our attitudes or see proof of any change. At some point, we realize our greatest gift is to love those, most, who seem least worthy of it . . ." Deepest forgiveness is born from the understanding which makes forgiveness unnecessary; what inspires us to tap this understanding are opportunities to come together on safe and common ground to tell our stories.
Testimony videotaped during Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa reveals account after account of crimes so heinous that forgiveness seemed impossible, but turned out not to be impossible. Time after time, once victims’ stories were told and heartfelt restitution agreed upon, forgiveness spilled out. An online register features comments of those in South Africa "who did not perhaps commit gross violations of human rights but nevertheless wish to indicate their regret for failures in the past to do all they could have done to prevent such violations; people who want to demonstrate in some symbolic way their commitment to a new kind of future in which human rights abuses will not take place."
And in the usa: "In 1980 Aba Gayle’s daughter, Catherine Blount, was brutally murdered. The man who murdered her was convicted and sentenced to death. He is now on death row in San Quentin Prison. . . For eight long years, Aba Gayle was in darkness, feeling consumed with rage, hate and the wish for revenge. Her days were filled with anger and despair.  In 1988, a visit to the Unity Church in Auburn, CA, resulted in the discovery of a metaphysical bookstore. Aba Gayle then began what she calls her Journey of Light.   The next four years were devoted to meditation and spiritual studies. In 1992, Aba Gayle heard a voice that said, "You must forgive him . . . and you must let him know."   This voice was so compelling to Gayle, that she wrote a letter to the convicted killer in which she expressed forgiveness and compassion.  The moment she mailed the letter, Aba Gayle was filled with peace, love and joy and found the healing for her grief.  She felt it was a miracle. Aba Gayle has since developed a friendship with the murderer that continues to this day. So began Aba Gayle’s journey of demonstrating and teaching The Healing Power of Forgiveness.  In 1998, Aba Gayle established The Catherine Blount Foundation as a living tribute to the daughter who did not live to see her 20th birthday." Please visit Aba Gayle’s website. If you are suffering grief of whatever kind, or gripped to any degree by indignation and anger at world events, the stories of forgiveness and reconciliation you find there will lift you.

Sometimes, though we long to be consistently forgiving, our deepest understanding fails us. Despite our purest intentions, we burn or sink in ways that do not seem fitting, either forour own good or for the world’s, and opportunities for forgiveness are missed or put aside. How grand when we manage to dedicate our excesses (anger, frustration, sadness and tears, alleged failure, disappointment–even joy and abundance) to those who suffer. These become, a kind of compost for good–a prayerfulness–we offer not in any formal way that takes us away from our daily rounds but as a gift of attention in the time it takes our hearts to leap.

Each individual person has the power of participating in the transformation of the whole Earth. The evil that reaches you after so many millions of years of existence can be absorbed and transformed. You have the power to accept the suffering, to refuse to pass it on to another, to forgive, to end the needless torment, and, most of all, to transmute evil into energy for the vitality of the whole. –Thomas Berry

NEIGHBORCARE NEWS These days, the newsletter goes out to nearly 800 people. Requests come in; needs are met. More and more people are calling from out-of-town and out-of-state to learn about us. This, mostly, via word of mouth.

for pondering One afternoon, for a long while, I had been walking my dog, Ozzie, in Blue Hill. During our walkabout, I was glad to let Ozzie stop to sniff and pee at every shrub and stump and pole. But then the wind picked up. There was a sudden blast of rain. I was wet and cold in no time. Gently, I tugged Ozzie away from his next lengthy sniff, explaining to him what was what. At that moment, I noticed someone I didn’t know just out from her house, looking at us. Easily she might have been thinking I was refusing Ozzie his most modest canine pleasure. Being of a certain frame of mind, she might have magnified my gentle pull on Ozzie’s leash and supposed me to be a mean and withholding person. Then, she might have exploded this view onto Ozzie’s entire life. Oh dear!

An interview with not-a-particularly radical soldier from Desert Storm revealed that when he and fellow soldiers faced "the enemy" with no high-ranking officials around to order them otherwise, they put their guns down–soldiers from "both sides" put their guns down–because in each other they knew they were seeing themselves.

from the kitchen a deluxe summer potato salad Scrub (do not peel) and chunk (do not mince) boiled (not overboiled) potatoes. Add chopped onions, green and/or red peppers, celery, (and any or all of the following, depending upon whether or not you want your potato salad to be a complete meal or a side dish: hardboiled egg, black olives, drained canned tuna or salmon, lightly steamed chopped broccoli, marinated artichokes, minced hot cherry peppers). Swirl in Nasoya (or Miracle Whip, not mayo), a generous amount of Plochman’s horseradish mustard (outstanding product), dill weed, garlic granules, black pepper, Braggs (or sea salt) and a touch of curry powder if you’d like.

recommended Greenfingers, a charming, high-spirited video made in England. The video is based on a true story and is for anyone of any age who has ever loved a flower garden. (One small rock garden, sad to say, does not fare well.)

from the not-a-doctor Here’s a "folk tip" from Ken Hamilton (www.hopehealing.org and www.soulcircling.com) who is an M.D. "A friend told me . . . she'd had an anaphylactic shock from a hornet, so she carries a "kit" to prevent such potentially lethal responses. . . I told her of an old Polish remedy for immediate relief of the pain and swelling of such stings– "Put steel on it." in the words of a wonderful Polish gardener . . . It always works, and immediately. I told a woman up in Carabassett that she didn't have to believe in it when she yelped with the pain, but just put the sting on the rusty bucket of a nearby front end loader. You should have seen her eyes become saucers! So I thought I'd tell you about it, for I'm sure there are plenty of gardeners and hornets in Blue Hill. I don't know if it would detoxify well enough to block an anaphylactic response, so I'd suggest to a gardener that s-he take the injection in the emergency kit, and then hold the sting up against the spade or trowel s-he's just been working with. Steel in any form works."

come lift your heart A woman living in mid-state Vermont, along with the woman she’d been renting from, recently lost their home to fire. In a letter-to-the-editor appreciation to her friends and neighbors, the woman included the following words by the Sufi poet Rumi. She had been reading them hours before the fire took everything she owned, and gleaned comfort from them later. "Each day is a guest house and we must be willing to open our door to each visitor that comes, be they of joy or pain. And if a sorrow so great comes to your door as to sweep your house bare . . . then welcome this too, as a house swept clean will reveal true blessings in its emptiness."

summer caregiving When you visit neighborcare friends during the hot months ahead, offer a summer treat, why don’t you: a thermos of fresh, cold lemonade, a generous bunch of wild roses, a ride in the country, fruit salad, chunks of ice-cold watermelon, maybe a small fan if one is needed.

living questions two from a Journal of Living interview with Julia Butterfly Hill, an earth activist who believes that being of service is integral to a life of integrity and who follows her beliefs and her passion in making the world a better place. "When I see a struggle, I see an opportunity for transformation. The hero and the destroyer lie within each of us. We are all that strong and we are all that weak. Are you willing to accept the challenge of becoming your own hero?" AND "Every choice affects the world because no choice is made in a vacuum. The question is not 'CAN we make a difference?' The question is rather "DO we make a difference?' We are ALL the ones to make the difference. The kind of difference we make is up to us."

"[Human beings] have grown . . . and learnt how to think, and even though they may think wrongly, and may initiate disastrous experiments, the ultimate good is inevitable and unavoidable. Temporary discomforts, passing depressions, war and bloodshed, penury and vice, may lead the unthinking into the depths of pessimism. But those who know and who sense [an] inner guiding hand . . . are aware that the heart of humanity is sound and that out of the present chaos, and perhaps largely because of it, there will emerge those competent to deal with the situation and adequate to the task of unification and synthesis." –from Serving Humanity the writings of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul

on the internet Do visit www.mothersactingup.org. What a small group of mothers sparked, in Boulder, CO, from their passion for peace for their (and all) children is inspirational. All things possible when we don’t limit ourselves. and, while you’re "connected," make a stop at www.worldgoodwill.org. This is an international movement helping to mobilize the energy of goodwill and build right human relations. Read the crisis, tension, emergence article in the No. 2 2003 newsletter.

ANOTHER NEIGHBORCARE "MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK"
took place in NEIGHBORCARE Jeanne Gaudette's Cape Rozier home on Monday, June 30th. Several of us shared fine food and talk and addressed NEIGHBORCARE newsletters. We'll continue to move the potluck to various peninsula locations.

Not necessarily the same people will be gathering each time. Don't think for a minute you have to be a signed-up volunteer to be part of our group.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU'D LIKE TO JOIN IN, IN SEPTEMBER.
maggiesdavis@gmail.com    207.266.7673

"Know that when you are tuned into your heart, your Inner Wisdom, and God, then your energy lightens up and your vibration literally changes. You become a beacon of light and peace. You become an uplifter and a peacemaker. There's an old saying, 'The rising tide lifts all boats. But it won't raise a stone.' Stop looking at and thinking about the stones. Join me in raising the tide."

  – Christiane Northrup, M.D.



Blessings all around you—this summer and in every season,
maggie davis, for NEIGHBORCARE


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maggie davis 207.266.7673
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614
e-mail: maggiesdavis@gmail.com



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