"No service is too small when given
mindfully, with good intention and an open heart."
I DO THIS: When I am helping someone I feel like I am doing
exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I feel connected to a
larger picture of how Love can be expressed in this world. The
idea that we are all here together and can make a meaningful difference
in each other’s lives moves me.
DEAR NEIGHBORCARE FRIENDS: Regarding
Katrina (and any hurricanes that, terribly, might follow), may our concern
for our southern neighbors continue to cross all political, religious,
economic borders. Kudos to those nationwide, not just those living near
coastal sites razed by the hurricane, who have opened their hearts and
pocketbooks and homes.
We serve best when we don’t merely feel
sorry for those affected. Merely feeling sorry, we distance ourselves,
denying that the dragon of loss could relocate to our own neighborhood
in an instant. (Perhaps as recently as mid August residents of New Orleans
or Biloxi were feeling sorry for those suffering devastation in Iraq.)
People distance themselves because they are afraid and do not want to
consider they might be next in line for upset. They distance themselves
because they feel helpless to ease suffering. They distance themselves
when they are experiencing their own cavernous pain and are certain
that feeling even one more drop of it would be the end of them. They
distance themselves because it feels familiar to do so.
When we feel for, we come closer
to being with—to becoming
more all-embracing. Blessed with dry and sturdy homes, we can allow
our imagining to go so deep that, as much as humanly possible, we know
others’ suffering in our own body and are willing to bear their
burden in this way.
It makes sense, doesn’t it, that our imagining must go this deep.
If we cannot feel compassion for other beings until we suffer what they
suffer—and compassion and love are our lessons—we are not
exempt from horrific times. It isn’t enough for our minds to grasp
this. Our intrepid hearts must as well and cast the feeling into action,
large or small.
Sometimes I magnify my own discomforts in my
mind so I can approach another's suffering. I turn traffic jams into
pesky flies on festering sores. I turn a critical remark into an onslaught
from a nearby tribe. I turn a bothersome heat into a crop-parching drought,
a rainy day into a monsoon. I turn the longing for personal space into
a lifetime of sharing one room with ten other people. In truth, I can't
come close to these experiences when I imagine them, no matter what
amount of time I take to try to do that, no matter how strong my intent
to dive deeply. But the effort inspires in me an ever-growing gratitude
for my own life, as well as a finer-tuned understanding of those whose
lives I encounter every day. - maggie davis/Caring
in Remembered Ways
If there are enough folks in the Blue Hill are who would like
to welcome in/sponsor a hurricane refugee family, let me know and we’ll
see if we can help it happen.
FROM THE VOICELESS
Many years ago in Florida, I rescued a mouse from a neighbor’s
pool. Despite the neighbor urging me to kill the mouse, I took it outside,
and stretched out beside it where it lay on its back “flipping
heartbeats at the grass” (as I wrote in a poem about it). Another
time I removed baby mice from a dumpster—and another time, in
the middle of the night, from my cat, before making my way to the basement
to release them.
When I was building what was then my little cabin in the woods, a warrior
mouse featuring a scarred chest sat looking at me for what must have
been a full five minutes, while I sat not five feet away. And there
was the pregnant mouse I found in my cabin (about to give birth, I was
sure)—I transferred her outside to a place I hoped would be safe
I don’t know why such a connection with mice, but one exists.
(And these are only a few of the stories. . .) You can imagine my response
reading the following personal account (written by Linda Rosendahl of
Swampscott, MA, in ASPCA Animal Watch,
Linda had been watering a planter in her greenhouse when out popped
baby field mice whose mother had made a nest there. Linda was horrified
over the damage she’d done. She went to find a box and something
soft to nest the babies in, hoping their mother would find them. When
she returned, “[t]here, standing at her full two-inch height,
was the mother field mouse. With her two front paws, she clutched one
of her babies to her chest. She looked at me straight in the eye. Then
she bared her teeth. We stared at each other for a long moment. She
did not blink. ‘I’m very sorry,’ I said.” LINDA
GOES ON TO SAY: “Our culture would have us believe that
big is best, and that without great power we are of little consequence.
That night it did not feel one bit good to be a giant. And I knew that
the mouse had more courage than I would ever have.”
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining
wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be
turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the
few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction;
if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and
push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never
again will Americans be free from noise, the exhausts, the stinks of
human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the
chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in
the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother
to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong
We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do
more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring
ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope."
FOR PONDERING An old Chinese chronicle
talks of the fidelity of Pao Chou Ya to his friend Kouan Tchong Wou.
Said Kouan of his wise benefactor: “When I was in great want,
I went into business with my great friend Pao Chou Ya. On one occasion
I kept most of the profits for myself, but he never reproached me, because
he knew how poor I was. Another time I failed, but he never reproached
me as a fool, because he knew everyone had a good time and bad time
in life. I went to the war fronts three times and ran away from them
three times. But he never reproached me as a coward, because he knew
I had my old mother at home . . . . It was my parents who gave birth
to me, but it was Pao Chou Ya who knew me in the true sense of the word.”
TIP Use Dr. Bronners
(liquid) Peppermint Soap for “skunked” loved ones in your
life. My son-in-law swears by it. He’s used it twice. If you could
see the look on his face when he talks about that soap, you’d
be a believer! (I bathe my dog, Ozzie, in peppermint soap anyway.
When the weather’s warm enough, I use the hose outside for his
FROM THE KITCHEN
CORN-WHEAT GERM-RASPBERRY (WHEAT-FREE)
MUFFINS (bake at 400 degrees–makes 15 medium muffins. if
using brown rice flour, fill the tins fuller–moist chewy muffin)
1 c. cornmeal 1 c. low or non fat plain yogurt 1 cup water
mix these ingredients together and allow
to soak for ten minutes
Combine: 2 eggs scant 3/4 c. brown
rice syrup 1 t vanilla 1/2 c. sunflower oil 1/2 cup brown rice flour/
2 t. baking powder 1 cup wheat germ 1 t cinnamon 1 t. baking soda scant
1 t. sea salt
Combine all ingredients. Swirl in half-thawed, frozen raspberries or,
when muffins are half baked, add raspberry jam with seeds for a thumbprint.
STILL WITH US?
No matter where you live, you are more than welcome to receive the NEIGHBORCARE
newsletter. Absolutely. However,
if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, you will be doing us
a favor by letting us/me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
(A reminder to let us know names, addresses and email addresses/phone
numbers of those who might like to receive it!
I’ll assume you’ve checked with these folks first.)
In the Ripples newsletter (for H.O.P.E,
founded by Ken Hamilton, M.D.), Ken wrote about a friend of his who
had recovered completely from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease
had taken the woman to minutes from her death. Her account and Ken’s
comments explore the heart of this recovery. Referring to those moments
before she surely would die, Ken asks the reader: “Could you stay
in perfect peace—love—with that situation? Could you pull
in all of your projections and be fully present in the moment of your
breath and life? Pull your projections out of fear, and you become aware.
Pull your projections out of anger, and you become a presence.”
Ken’s friend was sure that love didn’t save her; yet she
had undertaken rigorous work, done every day, to replace self hatred
with love. What she was, in the time before she almost died, was “present
“Consider,” wrote Ken, “. . . that with her mind,
she created a dimensionless field . . . a field called ‘Now’.”
To learn of Ken’s extraordinary work, go to <www.soulcircling.com>
"You have to strive every minute to get
rid of the life that you have planned in order to have the life that's
waiting to be yours. Move, move, move . . . ." –Joseph Campbell
FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR
I burned my skin badly between my thumb and forefinger taking food out
of the oven, put ice on the burn for a few seconds, then pure aloe vera
gel. No pain. No scar.
NOTE: I was not able
to print out Newsletter #33 before sending it to the printer via attachment;
thus (as with Newsletter #32) I felt I was flying blind! In advance,
I apologize for any blatant (or not blatant) errors. Also, though I
may be away from Blue Hill off and on during the next few months, I
happily continue doing NEIGHBORCARE from the road. Please do not hesitate
to call for service (anytime at all), or just to say hello! 207.266.7673
NEIGHBORCARE MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK POTLUCK
took place in Marjo and Jim Kannry’s home in East
Blue Hill, ME on Friday, September 30th. Several of us shared
fine food and talk and addressed NEIGHBORCARE newsletters.
We’ll continue to move the potluck to various peninsula
Not necessarily the same people will be gathering each time.
As always, dont think for a minute you have to be
a signed-up volunteer to be part of our group.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOUD
LIKE TO JOIN IN, IN DECEMBER.
whole and all things will come to you."
Blessings all around youthis fall
and in every season,
maggie davis, for NEIGHBORCARE
Neighborcare Newsletters Main
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614-0370
Copyright © 1998 - 2017 maggie davis. All Rights Reserved.