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

Ann Barrows
Stonington, ME

WHY I DO THIS: To my mind, volunteering with Neighborcare is a sure bet. Helping a neighbor avoids that conundrum of weighing pros and cons that surrounds so many other activities. That sense of trueness is centering and provides a secure platform for the balance of my day. And isn't it surprising how the effects of a visit with my "neighbor" reverberate—snippets of information and shared experiences often confirmed through other experiences in the same day? Have others noticed the same phenomenon?

DEAR NEIGHBORCARE FRIENDS: Recently I listened to a cassette series featuring a person whose name many of you would recognize. So harsh were the opinions expressed, despite the healing intention—in so strident a way were they presented, and so contradictory were the messages conveyed—that several times I gasped, listening to them, despite the fact that other points, woven through, were brilliantly conceived.

Isn’t it so that the true teacher is welcoming, and learns alongside his/her students. A true teacher inspires us to remove boundaries (those fixed things that separate us), not construct them—or at least make them movable like the lightweight and useful restraints we see wrapped around fields where sheep and horses graze.

What a true teacher says makes us nod in recognition of the gold we are hearing (not gasp or struggle or self demean) and opens us to the wisdom—to the Truth—that lives in us. What a true teacher says lifts us to a vision of who we truly-and-already are, minus the blindness that distorts our inner vision. In the company of a True Teacher, we are unafraid to face what is and unwilling to expend our forces wishing and blaming and dodging.

NEIGHBORCARE NEWS   Thanks for letting me know if you’d like to come to a “many hands make light work” potluck. If for whatever good reason you’ve said you’d like to join in (or have joined in and enjoyed the good company) but you’ve responded no three times or more in a row when I’ve called (for even the finest reasons, though none required!), do call or email to refresh your willingness to be part of our gathering. No long-term commitment required or expected. You can attend on a potluck-by-potluck basis. The potlucks generally are scheduled for late June, September, December, and March, the exact date chosen a month or so before. We do welcome you! • 266.7673

The need for meals increases. Email or call if you’re happy to help out. Helping out means keeping extra portions of nourishing soups and stews, etc. in your freezer, ready to share—or, if you’re so inclined, tailoring what you prepare to satisfy someone’s special needs.

HONORING THE VOICELESS  L., a Stonington friend, emailed me about M., a friend of hers. The following is edited—for the sake of space, not clarity, and addresses a concern (and opportunity) not often enough mentioned: M. began her caregiving relationship with N. when N. was wordless and helpless. The intensity of the relationship—its purity and simplicity—came from its being wordless, spirit to spirit, heart to heart as between a mother and infant. N.’s grace and character and spirit were, and are, a constant source of inspiration to those who knew—and know of—her. M.’s insight—that the wordless primal connection with another is the grace and joy of the caregiver relationship—may help others take that step to caregiving for those who are profoundly physically disabled.

It occurs to me that trees in autumn ease us into colder, sharper weather by displaying for us—via their leaves, bright red and yellow and orange before they fall—welcome vestiges of summer’s heat.
When despair for the world grows in me/and I wake in the night at the least sound/in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,/I go and lie down where the wood drake/rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds./I come into the peace of wild things/who do not tax their lives with forethought/ of grief. I come into the presence of still water./And I feel above me the day-blind stars/waiting with their light. For a time/I rest in the grace
of the world, and am free.  —“The Peace of Wild Things”/Wendell Berry

FOR PONDERING  Watching films memorable for their power to affect and inspire reminds us how we can transform shaky feelings and angry ones into caring for life that crosses our path, reminds us WE ARE EACH OTHER. These exquisitely made, more-than-the-sum-of-their-parts, regenerative and poignant movies celebrate the potential of the human spirit (e.g. Crash, Water, Tsotsi ) and are not depressing, as I see it. (In Tsotsi, for example, deliverance and compassion rise shining—and I mean shining—from the bowels of cruelty.) Turning away because we find the films distasteful, we turn from what could open us—uplift us—as well as from the potential for redemption we all share. In each of us, no matter our circumstances, there is light and dark. Where they meet—voilà!—there is color.
The state of our mind and the attitude of our spirit affect the whole universe. Therefore, it is best to be conscientiously correct, even out of the sight and hearing of others. In Chinese philosophy it is said that the slightest wave of the hand moves molecules all the way to the end of the universe. It is also true that the slightest change in our inner attitude affects those to whom we are connected, however far away they may be. —A Guide to the I Ching/Carol K. Anthony

OLD PETS  Do remember to warm your pet’s food slightly during the colder months, especially your older pets. And if you’re walking an older dog, you can keep walking back and forth, getting your exercise, while allowing him/her to sniff! It is easy, especially in cold weather, to want to hurry our pets along.

TIP   For those of you who don’t shop much at food cooperatives, consider Marcal (completely) white paper towels and white toilet tissue. According to the label: 100% recycled. 60% post consumer. Chlorine free process.

FROM THE KITCHEN  Here’s a quick-and-easy Italian open-faced sandwich for those who want Italian, but not all those pasta carbs. Slice a block of extra-firm tofu, then sear slices on both sides so the outsides are crusty, the insides, smooth. Remove from the pan. Add thinly sliced mushrooms, green pepper and onions, then sauté. Next comes a generous swoosh of your favorite marinara sauce and a couple of handfuls of (organically grown) spinach or kale. Keep stirring till the sauce caramelizes and the spinach/ kale is tender, then add a bit more sauce to thin (but not much!). Gently stir in the tofu so the slices remain intact. Spoon this mix onto a pocket of Joseph’s flax/oat bran/whole wheat pita bread, pocket unopened and toasted lightly-but till firm-ahead of time. Sprinkle generously with parmesan/romano blend and bake till the cheese melts. You can buy this fine pita bread—or ask for it—at most local supermarkets. Each serving contains very low carbs and high dietary fiber. (Compare to other pitas.) If you eat chicken, you can substitute sautéed chicken sausage. (humanely-raised chicken, best.)This can be a knife and fork sandwich, if you’d like. Joseph’s makes a great (flax/oat bran/whole wheat) low carb/hi-fiber tortilla, too.

CARING IN REMEMBERED WAYS   A reminder to be alert for signs we’re drowning a person confined to bed with incessant talk, that we’re going on and on about the bounty or the drama of our lives when the person we’re speaking to has only a bed for a kingdom, and no way away from us. Those times we’re brave enough to allow more than modicums of silence during our visits, surprising good can appear—for now it has room to . . .

LIVING QUESTIONS   There is the story by Tolstoy about the hermit and the emperor. The emperor seeks out a hermit to discover the answer to three questions 1) What is the best time to do each thing? 2) Who are the most important people to work with? 3) What is the most important thing to do at all times?

Following some convoluting happenings, the hermit tells the emperor. “Remember that there is only one important time and that is now. The present moment is the only moment over which we have dominion. The most important person is the person you are with, who is right before you, f or who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.”

Develop from the heart, meditate on love, live love, absorb love, give love, and your soul will become alight. The divine magic will rest in your hands, enabling you to heal the sick, to comfort the bereaved, to bless the sorrowful, to beautify everything you touch, and to bring peace and happiness to the lives of men and women."  —White Eagle

FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR   First lines of defense for bleeding, external and internal: cayenne powder (internal, a teaspoon mixed with a glass of water) and tincture of lady’s mantle (a perennial which many enjoy in their gardens) mixed with a little water. external: these, directly on the wound. (I applied Lady’s mantle tincture—on a gauze pad—to an wisdom tooth extraction site. Doing this stopped the bleeding when nothing else worked.)


A NEIGHBORCARE “MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK” POTLUCK took place in Mar and Jim Kannry's home on Friday, September 29th.
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.

Reach out. Use your suffering to heal other suffering. Don't solicit condolence, use condolence to build the community of common experience, love and grief, hope and care.  —Rob Shetterly

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

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maggie davis
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614-0370

Copyright © 1998 - 2019 maggie davis. All Rights Reserved.