NEIGHBORCARE NEWS #31 MARCH '05

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

Anne Redman Blue Hill, ME

WHY I DO THIS: I donate quilts I make to those who might find them comforting. I love to give what I have made away. This makes me feel I can still do something for someone else despite the fact I am mostly homebound and in pain nearly all of the time.



DEAR NEIGHBORCARE FRIENDS: More than opening our windows this spring, may we also open our lives and our homes. On February 8th, following ankle surgery I’d had two days earlier (See NOT-A-DOCTOR), friends in Lamoine WELCOMED me into their home to mend (For various reasons, the cabinhouse in the woods where I live would not have been conducive to healing, especially in wintertime.) In the hospital, while I was pondering what to do next, my friend S. said simply and brightly, and WITHOUT HESITATION, “Oh—come stay here.” If she hadn’t said that, in just that way, I’m not sure what I would have done. It was S’s GRACIOUSNESS that inspired me to say yes. I would have chosen to experience the challenges in my home rather than say yes to someone who’d invited me in dutifully.
We are each a hair away from “homelessness,” no matter how fortunate we are regarding family, finances, shelter and friends. Family can fall away, or themselves be stricken, leaving us dependent on the care of friends. Friends can fall away, or be stricken as well, leaving us dependent on the kindness of “strangers.”
Imagine a world where no one in a time of crisis had to worry s/he would be stranded and that those who were present with us and for us were happy to be. How much would this contribute to the healing of body and spirit.
I remember reading a true account of starving children in Africa sharing, gladly, what few crumbs they had with other starving children. Only our relationship with fear prevents us from doing the same—from giving ourselves away. In my own life, I know this. Each of us knows this. Yet gradually, like flowers emerging from hard ground, we come to be all we are.

“Heaven. Now there’s a thought. Nothing has ever been able, ultimately, to convince me we live anywhere else. And that heaven, more a verb than a noun , more a condition than a place, is all about leading with the heart in whatever broken or ragged state it’s in, stumbling forward in faith until, from time to time, we miraculously find our way. Our way to forgiveness, our way to letting go, our way to understanding, compassion and peace.” —Pat Schneider/author of
Writing Alone and With Others

NEIGHBORCARE NEWS Picture this: You’ve been in an accident and are in pain. You can hardly do a dish, or pick up a tissue that has fallen. Perhaps you live alone, or your family members are busy or don’t count order as a priority. Your view from the bed is increasing disarray. There is so much else you need, you hesitate asking for someone to help you clean, or even tidy. Yet having this help would lift you so. What if someone offered to do this for you, or when someone asked another on your behalf there was IMMEDIATE AND WILLING response? Who could measure your relief? Thanks for helping, if you can. maggiesdavis@gmail.com

"There is an idea abroad among moral people that they should make their neighbors good. One person I have to make good: myself. But my duty to my neighbor is much more nearly expressed by saying that I have to make him happy—if I may." - Robert Louis Stevenson

FOR PONDERING “If there's something you totally reject in every fiber of your being, you'll never see it. Your brain will get the information but it will go like whoosh—just throw it out. So, you really only see that which you'll let in, which is, of course, a spiritual process—getting out of the way so you can see something new.”
—William Arnst Film producer/Director What the Bleep Do We Know?

Quaker writer and educator Thomas R. Kelley wrote in
A Testament of Devotion: “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself.”

FROM THE KITCHEN slight variation on A FAVORITE SANDWICH (introduced by a co-worker years ago): flat packaged tempeh sliced lengthwise (then crosswise so there are four pieces), sautéed in canola oil, sprinkled with garlic granules and a touch of Braggs aminos or tamari. (After flipping the tempeh, I add a slice of pepperjack soy cheese to melt on top of each of the slices.) Next I add water to the pan to steam the tempeh a bit, and I put in some kale to steam as well. While these are cooking (just a couple of minutes), I sauté onions, a sliced portabello mushroom, and slivered ginger, squirting in a bit of Braggs here, too. On Genesis or Ezekiel toast I spread a mix of soy mayo (or Miracle Whip), sweet relish and a shot of tabasco. Serves four!

HIGHER GROUND Frederick Buechner wrote, “If you want to know the kind of person you are as distinct from the kind of person you like to think you are, keep an eye on where your feet carry you.” If our insides lead us to higher ground, then we need look no further to find God. God is as near as our own heartbeat. I am no theologian, but here’s what I think. If we want to find God in the midst of a disaster, the place to look is not in the act but in the response. Natural events, for the most part, are our friends. We are products of nature. Tsunamis happen because nature is simply what it is.
But the responders–-the helpers of the world–-act from a willful and caring place. Whether Buddhist monks housing refugees, Muslim volunteers providing food and clothing, Christians offering counseling and medicine, Hindus offering prayers and gentle hands, or persons of no particular faith giving money, time, and skills to ease the suffering of other s, God is very much alive and present in them and through them. They don’t need a doctrine, or a theology –- they need only to be attuned to the spirit of compassion and goodness already within them -– like the pads of an elephant’s feet –- and to respond as faithfully as they are able.

In Indonesia a little boy who had lost everyone in his family brightened when asked who would take care of him. He pointed all around the room to the very few men and and women and manychildren there. “
They will,” he said, sunny as the sun for a moment. “They are all my brothers now.”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Go to www.faithfulamerica.blogspot.com/ The stories and photos of tsunami survivors featured there celebrate qualities of humility and respect and courage. They are too moving to be described.

TIP According to Linda Garrett of The Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, baking power can be used instead of commercial scouring powders with a little salt or vinegar added to enhance cleaning power. And if you pour a cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda down your kitchen or bathroom drain, the bubbling mix will get rid of your hair or grease clog. Flush sink (or toilet bowl) with hot water.

NOW! “I am an emissary of Light NOW, and I claim the world that was intended for us from the beginning of time. I claim peace this moment, and I feel its presence in the life of all beings everywhere. I acknowledge that God’s Light shines through me now, and I use that Light to heal and bless, allowing a New world to be made manifest. I do this because it is in my power to do so, given to me by God. Peace prevails NOW because we claim that it is so.”
- The Beloved Community

LIVING QUESTIONS What if, when a lot of things started going wrong all at once, we had faith this was happening to protect something grand that was about to be born and needed us to be distracted from it so it could birth itself perfectly?

FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR I broke my ankle six weeks ago. The bone healed well and on schedule (though I’m no longer a youngster!), I’m sure due to daily doses of homeopathic symphytum (comfrey) and calcarea phosphorica. I began this regimen on the day the staples came out and another xray was taken to make sure everything was still “in place and aligned” after surgery. (Twelve years ago, I broke my wrist in three places and used these remedies then as well with much success.) I used Homeopathic Arnica the day before and three days after surgery to reduce swelling and bruising from surgery. The pain medication I used sparingly (and was grateful for) was Vicodin. I elevated my leg above my heart often. (Thank heaven, I’d been given an air cast I could take off and on.)As soon as possible I began doing prescribed leg exercises, designed to increase muscle strength and circulation. I accustomed myself to touching/stroking my calf and foot, at various times applying The Rub (a homeopathic arnica “plus” lotion) and Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm and my old favorite, Nature’s Gate Herbal Original Moisturizing Lotion—these for easing skin dryness. I also used a comfrey/calendula ointment to soften the scar tissue A few weeks later swelling worsened. My foot, a lost and confused “child,” seemed to want even more attention! Sensing that the swelling was caused my lack of exercise and by lymph stagnation, several times a day I began using stroking methods (which I won’t go into here) to make it easier for the lymph to travel where it needed to go. This I did before using a prescribed compression stocking. (When I tried the stocking before the stroking, whoops, more swelling.). As of this writing, I’m bearing more weight on my foot, will be starting physical therapy to help me along, and am hoping for and visualizing the best!

Navajo Concept of Healing "One of the Navajo ideas of healing has to do with harmony.  If you look at any given situation, whether it's an emotional or physical ailment or a problem of some sort, you apply the word "harmony" to it, it's not necessarily looking at specifically just physically healing it.  How are you going to be with it all, as a person?  When you emerge from a trauma of any sort, how are you going to be with it all?  And what is your outlook on life? The Navajo culture is more interested in how the person sort of views their own place in this universe rather than whether or not they're running a fever, or in their specifics of medication, prognosis, diagnosis.  The singing and the bringing of an individual to harmony is not necessarily simply about changing the condition of somebody on a physical level.  It's allowing them to be at peace with what is, and if you're sick, how are you going to be at peace with that, and how are you going to live forward from there?"

NOTE: I was not able to print out Newsletter #31 before sending it to the printer via attachment; thus I felt I was flying blind! In advance, I apologize for any blatant (or not blatant!) errors.

A NEIGHBORCARE “MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK” POTLUCK took place (again!) in Anne and Luke Williams' home  in Stonington, Maine on Thursday, March 24th. 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 JUNE.
maggiesdavis@gmail.com (207) 266-7673

“Consider the influence of expectations on perception in the following anecdote: “A farmer was missing an ax from his tool shed. He suspected his neighbor’s young son. The boy looked like a thief, acted like a thief, and spoke like a thief. When the man eventually found his misplaced ax, his neighbor’s son looked, acted, and spoke like any other young boy.”
- Dan Millman



Blessings all around you—this spring 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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