NEIGHBORCARE NEWS #26 DECEMBER '03

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

 

THANK YOU, BONNIE SCHOFIELD, FOR TIME SPENT GENEROUSLY AND WILLINGLY, WITH GENUINE ENTHUSIASM.

 

Barbara Wright WHY I DO THIS: I enjoy it . . . The people I meet through Neighborcare are interesting and wonderful.

DEAR NEIGHBORCARE FRIENDS: Please . . . in these days that mark the return of the sun and more abundant light, let us remember to see the light in one another. Times we feel small and dark and lost, often the only light we have is that brightness radiated when some friend or stranger is loving who we are. Each person—each being—deserves this good wash. Often it is felt during the most modest acts: A KEPT PROMISE, no matter how seemingly unimportant. MOMENTS OF COMPLETE PRESENCE offered generously and eagerly, despite inconvenience to the giver. However these gifts are delivered, they remind us of the light within us which, when (re)kindled, we are inspired to “pay forward.”
In the end, this is all we truly have, isn’t it, how we care for one another. We are angels to each other more than we know. No matter how much family we enjoy (or how alone we feel)—no matter how many possessions that surround us (or how few), all can be taken—something always is sticking out and being vulnerable. We “protect ourselves” best, then, but protecting “others.” At once, this is our most selfish and our most generous act. When this understanding pervades our life, we see differently and act as if we do, and the practice heals every one of us within arms’ reach.

NEIGHBORCARE NEWS In the beginning, we hoped people from each peninsula town would step forward to help coordinate satellites of caregiving around neighbors in their communities needing assistance. More and more, this is happening organically—within each town, also crossing town and state lines. Always there has been neighboring on the peninsula, but now, increasingly, to benefit people we don’t know. We are glad to be making new family.
My brother used to ask the birds to forgive him; that sounds senseless but it is right; for all is like the ocean, all things flow and touch each other; a disturbance in one place is felt at the other end of the world. It may be folly to ask forgiveness of the birds, but the birds would be happier at your side—a little happier anyway—and children and all animals, if yourself were nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds, too, consumed by an all-embracing love in a sort of transport and pray that they will forgive you your sin. Prize this ecstasy, however senseless it may seem to men.
The Brothers Karamazov/Dostoyevski

COME LIFT YOUR HEART Many thanks to a spirited, caring friend from Nova Scotia who told me this true story in brief then sent along the full version (Healing Touch Newsletter March 2003). Space constraints prevent my including that version in this newsletter. With all due respect, here is my version.
In her review of the 2003 Healing Touch International keynote address by Dr. Mimi Guarneri, Cheryl Hardy wrote, “We know the heart loves and feels, but the heart also thinks and remembers.” Through her research and experience, Dr. Guarneri proved that “the heart communicates with other hearts.”
An 18-year-old boy named Danny was killed in an automobile accident and his heart was transplanted into the body of an 18-year-old girl. For a year Danny’s family couldn’t bring themselves to touch his room and it was only at the end of this stretch of time his identical twin brother found a diary called “Heart Thoughts” Danny had written unbeknownst to anyone. One of the entries in the diary left the family shaken. It was written when Danny was fourteen years old and entitled “Danny’s Heart.”
Danny wrote: “I don’t know you, but I feel your heart in mine. One day I think my heart will be yours and we will live forever as one. I don’t know you, but I love you and know that you love me. I don’t think I will live to be old but my heart will be yours and we will live forever together.” Finding this entry prompted Danny’s family to visit Nadine, the recipient of his heart. In Nadine’s eyes—and mannerisms (new since her transplant)—her family saw Danny. When shown a picture of Danny and his identical twin brother Nadine picked out Danny right away and was shocked to learn his name. Nadine’s mother explained: “Ever since her transplant, Nadine told us she dreamed bout her donor and that she had fallen in love with him years before he died. She said her lover came to save her life, and his name was Danny.”
In her address, Dr. Guaneri quoted Healing Touch’s Janet Mentgen, saying: “Healing with the heart is allowing the heart’s memory of healing that has occurred to resonate within you, being still enough to allow one’s own heart to fall into a shared coherence with other hearts in a form of compassionate prayer beyond words.”

WINTER METAPHOR “The chickadee lives by joyous faith in living. When everything curls up and prepares to wait, or die, the chickadee is out in the middle of it . . . even in the middle of a blizzard . . . . His voice comes out of the cold silence like the last voice in the world, singing that everything that has gone under the snow is neither lost nor dead and that life survives beautifully somewhere else and will return. There is joy in its song that says everybody who is hiding from the storm is missing the best part.” The Tracker/Tom Brown, Jr.

FROM THE KITCHEN Tuna-Olive-Artichoke Vegetable Marinara over rice pasta. While pasta is cooking, sauté onion and garlic and broccoli in a bit of organic canola oil, adding in the spice garam masala. Turn down heat. Add sliced Kalamata olives, chunks of marinated artichokes, and drained canned tuna. Stir in a jar of low sodium marinara (Amy’s is nice), adding a touch of water if too thick. Add sea salt or Braggs amino acids, to taste. Serve over drained pasta, sprinkling on grated parmesan or grated soy “parmesan.” Add red crushed hot peppers, if you’d like.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED the video, The Stone Boy, starring Robert Duvall and Glenn Close. By mistake, a young boy shoots his older brother while duck hunting. This is the story of how the family was struck, divided and healed from that death..
ALSO, the Rites of Passage website <http://www.ktc.net/ritesofpassage/now_forever.htm> featuring Between Now and Forever, a multi-media project/video on loss, grief and transcendence... a celebration of the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

FOR PONDERING We can only be happy when we are not self absorbed. As the great monastic Thomas Merton wrote, “Isolation in the self, inability to go out of oneself to others, would be incapacity for any form of self- transcendence. To be thus the prisoner of one’s own selfhood is, in fact, to be in hell.”
Do not neglect anything. In neglect lies the cause of most unhappiness. Advise people to understand how even the greatest manifestation may be the least perceptible. Cosmic significance does not depend on physical dimensions. The seed is the best example. . . Now a multiple of manifestations, insignificant in appearance, traverse the world. The attention must be sharpened. He who can train his attention to observe the smallest, will also understand the greatest. —Heart/Agni Yoga Society

FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR Mid December, a kind neighbor brought me home following a nine-day hospital stay (the stay, due to removal of a ruptured gangrenous appendix). We walked in to find my dog, Ozzie, with a raging eye infection, the worst I’d ever seen. After communing with Ozzie, my neighbor stayed to cut away the solid patch of hair and seeds that had attached itself, completely covering Ozzie’s eye. That evening, and all the next day, I made compresses for Ozzie by including the following tinctures in a little warm water: echinacea, eyebright, calendula, goldenseal and a splash of witch hazel. INTERNALLY, I added droppersful of the same tinctures (EXCLUDING THE WITCH HAZEL) to Ozzie’s drinking water—as soon as the water was gone, more water, plus another round of herbs. Twenty-four hours after the first application, Ozzie’s eye was 75% better. In another 24 hours, the infection was gone, except for a touch of redness. The following day, the eye was as good as new and has remained so. These herbs have benefited my eyes as well.

CAREGIVING TIP No matter if you’re a physician, nurse, home health provider, parent, teacher—if someone in your care is in distress and you’re about to ask that person “Are you all right?” or “Is there anything I can get for you to help you feel better?” do (unless you believe it’s completely inappropriate), rest a hand on that person’s hand or arm or shoulder or forehead while you’re asking. That way, the person feels your concern—you’ve made the moment holy for both of you, which words alone often cannot do.
A Magus cannot be ignorant, for magic implies superiority, mastership, majority, and majority signifies emancipation by knowledge. The Magus welcomes pleasure, accepts wealth, deserves honour, but is never the slave of one of them; he knows how to be poor, to abstain, and to suffer; he endures oblivion willingly because he is lord of his own happiness, and expects or fears nothing from the caprice of fortune. He can love without being beloved; he can create imperishable treasures, and exalt himself above the level of honours or the prizes of the lottery. He possesses that which he seeks, namely, profound peace. He regrets nothing which must end, but remembers with satisfaction that he has met with good in all. His hope is a certitude, for he knows that good is eternal and evil transitory. He enjoys solitude, but does not fly the society of man; he is a child with children, joyous with the young, staid with the old, patient with the foolish, happy with the wise. He smiles with all who smile, and mourns with all who weep; applauding strength, he is yet indulgent to weakness; offending no one, he has himself no need to pardon, for he never thinks himself offended; he pities those who misconceive him, and seeks an opportunity to serve them; by the force of kindness only does he avenge himself on the ungrateful; he leans with affection on all arms outstretched to him in the day of trouble, and does not mistake . . . irritable pride . . . for a virtue. He knows that he helps others by giving them the occasion of doing good, and he never meets an offer or a demand with a refusal. —Eliphas Levy

LIVING QUESTIONS If we loved all life, how would we raise our children differently? What if we planted in the minds and hearts of young people the understanding that everything is interconnected—that riding what seems like the most boring moment, they could end up anywhere?

A NEIGHBORCARE “MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK” POTLUCK took place in NEIGHBORCARE Lois Lock’s Surry home on Monday, Jan 12th. 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. As always, 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 MARCH.
maggiesdavis@gmail.com (207) 266-7673

The field by the sea, the single mountain peak seen from a man’s door, the island of trees and farm buildings in the western wheat, must be sung and painted and praised until each takes on the gentleness of the thing long loved, and becomes an unconscious part of us and we of it, for we are not yet at ease with our land, and it is restive and often sullen with us, like a horse which has been roughly broken to riding, and is left frequently standing uncared for in the sleet.
—Maine Memories /Elizabeth Coatsworth



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

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maggie davis
207.266.7673
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614-0370
e-mail: maggiesdavis@gmail.com



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