“Come and sit by me,” I say, patting the pillow beside me on the padded window seat. If you look outside, the view is lush in an autumnal way – the grass and the evergreens are verdant, but the deciduous trees – the pomegranate and the crepe myrtle – are changing colours. There is a decided nip in the air as well, especially in the mornings and evenings – and you’ll notice different smells coming from my kitchen too: there is a spicy chai bubbling away on the stove, filling the air with notes of cinnamon and cardamon that blend with the harmonic notes rising gently from my music player. There may also be the half prepared ingredients for a chicken soup on the bench; there is plenty of time for that though – for the moment, let’s have a cup of that sweet and spicy chai that smells so delicious, and have a catch up. Firstly, can I tell you the very best news? My second Dad has had an incredible recovery – from what looked like near death, he suddenly started breathing for himself. They took him off life support on Tuesday, and they didn’t even need to transfer him on to a respirator as they had expected to. He can breathe for himself again! On Thursday they moved him out of Intensive Care and into the Surgical Ward, where he is expected to stay for another couple of months, recovering. Before he came off life support, he regained consciousness and was able to communicate using an alphabet board. When he saw my mother for the first time, he beckoned her over and started tapping out words: have you paid the credit card? Have you cancelled our trip away this weekend? O this made me smile – even with his broken body, hooked up to a machine that was breathing for him, he was conscious of his duties and was lying there worrying about them. Of course, we had done all of that, and much more that he didn’t know about. I went up and saw him yesterday for the first time since he became conscious. He was pale and weak, as you would expect of someone who has been dead for two weeks – but alive: talking, eating and telling us all about his adventures he has had while away :). He also gave me instructions to put money on his phone and set it up so that he can play music on it as well. And he wants his Atlas, which is his very favourite book :). I can’t tell you how happy I am to do these little things for him. He’s on first name basis with half of the nursing staff and all of his doctors – and it’s only a matter of time before he meets the others and charms them as well. Some little things:
- The view from his bed is treetops and sky.
- He thanked the nurse who had taken him for an ultrasound and recorded all his details – and she was so shocked that she turned around to see if there was someone behind her that he was talking to.
- Every patient has their own phone next to the bed, but it’s too far away for immobilised patients to reach.
- He looked at himself in the mirror and told Mum that he looked a little bit scruffy – but that he guessed that’s what happens to you after 4 days in hospital. He was a little shocked when mum told him that he had been in hospital for 18 days.
- This is the Australian public health system. Every single person in Australia contributes to Medicare, so that when these terrible accidents happen, people can have the very best quality of care. Terrence has a team of doctors and nurses, access to all of the best testing and medical science and good quality food and room – and all of it is in the public health system. It’s good, it works, it’s equitable, it’s sensible to look after the health of your people.
So, you know, we are just so grateful Best Short Read Karma Envelopes by Dr Kelly Flanagan I love this gorgeous little article for the simple reason that it makes me feel hopeful. Don’t underestimate anything that brings you hope, my friends, no matter how small – it’s a nugget of gold.
Last week, I got ambushed by hope in a pub in Boulder, Colorado.
My wife and I had just gotten into town for a conference. Our flight out of O’Hare had been delayed for hours by thunderstorms, so by the time we landed, traveled to the hotel, checked in, and set out with friends to look for our first food since breakfast, it was 6pm. We walked through the doors of the Mountain Sun Pub with empty stomachs and frayed nerves. We were seated quickly, given our menus, and were just about to open them when my friend noticed, in small type at the bottom of the menu, these words: Cash only. Our empty stomachs dropped, and we got up to go. A waitress stopped us and asked why we were leaving. We explained we were from Chicago and were only carrying credit cards. She smiled wide and told us not to worry. Then she told us about Karma Envelopes. “We’ll give you a Karma Envelope,” she explained, “and when you get back to Chicago, write us a check and send it back to us.” Speechlessly, we sat back down. We looked at each other in disbelief. I scanned the room for hidden cameras. Click here to read the rest
Best TV Show
I haven’t had much time this week – but I always schedule in rest time in even the busiest of schedules. Normally I would read or nap, but not this week. No, this week, my precious rest time has been given to Claire and Jamie, because the second instalment of the first series of Outlanders is back! I have written about the Outlanders books and TV series before – but for those of you who haven’t heard of the books or the series: check it out. And for those of you who have – OMG how good is it? History, time travel, medicine, romance, adventure, danger – and the best two lead roles I have seen in a long time. I found myself planning yesterday, after I watched episode 11, that when the first series has ended, I will sit down and watch all 16 episodes again. That’s how besotted I am with it 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkizwJUiVjA
I love Rob Brezsny. He is incredibly intelligent, full of heart, thinks way out of the box and is not afraid to spread hope and happiness wherever he goes. This was on his facebook page the other day:
How can we influence people to stop their extermination of nature? How can we motivate people to stop committing genocide against animal species? [Choose Method A or Method B or a blend of both.] Method A. 1. Nag people with scientific data that shocks them into acknowledging how much harm human activity is inflicting. 2. Shame them about the sin of bequeathing their descendants a damaged, impoverished planet. 3. Badger them to dissolve the unethical greed that leads them to consume so many of the earth’s resources and produce too much waste. 4. Criticize them for being too stubborn and ignorant to change their destructive habits. 5. Goad them with financial incentives to do the right thing even if they don’t want to do the right thing. Method B. 7. Express smart love for the interconnected web of life. 8. Celebrate the fact that there are other forms of consciousness and intelligence besides just the human kind. 9. Embody the hypothesis that spending time in wild places enhances one’s mental hygiene and physical health. 10. Value the feminine as much as the masculine. 11. Cultivate the art of empathy, and demonstrate how to make it work in everything you do. 12. Show what it means to think with your heart and feel with your head. 13. Stay in close touch with the Mysterium, the other real world that is the root of the material world. 14. Vow to bring the I-Thou dynamic to bear on all your relationships. 15. Be as curious about intimacy as you are about power. – Rob Brezsny
I am not sure how I feel about David Letterman – he feels a little creepy to me, but maybe that’s just because I am Australian and some American icons are incomprehensible to me. So anyway, apologies for the David Letterman thing. Don’t worry about that though, because Tracy Chapman is singing Stand By Me, and she is beautiful, the song is beautiful, and you will feel happy after watching this I promise. Just as an aside, I have been listening to and loving Tracy Chapman ever since I was 14 – I remember seeing her live when I was 18, and it was such a pinch me is this real kind of moment. She means a lot to me, this woman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlZxx3elxBE
I want to share a little of the working part of my week: the school holidays have ended which means two things:the children go back to school and I go back to work. It’s been a good, big week with no warm up period; in fact, I feel like I’ve been flung into the midst of things with the strength of woman sized catapult. The first day back was an all day workshop I attended with my boss, run by Chris Sarra, a well renowned Aboriginal educator who is founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute. He is inspirational, wise and a radical in his thinking about how to lift the educational outcomes of Aboriginal students, and indeed all students who are the victims of low expectations by society. The next day began with the knowledge that two students that I had been working closely with had left the school, and indeed the area. Every loss of a student is heart breaking – as educators we invest a large chunk of ourselves into each child, especially if we work one on one with them as I was doing with these children. Also, our school is very small, and each student that leaves affects us much more than that of a bigger school. Working with children is very personal, and we feel their joy and heartbreak as if it were our own. This is how it is. On Thursday, I assisted with transporting our year 6 students to a debating workshop. Here’s the thing about living in a rural community: the debating workshop was 80km away, and took 1 hour and 15 minutes just to get there. It was fabulous, the presenters were very experienced at presenting to primary school children – in fact that’s all they do – and most importantly of all, the children loved it, and got so much out of it – especially my son who takes great pride in his argumentativeness 🙂 And finally, I want to share this letter from teacher Mary Ginley to her students with you: And, you know it kind of sums up how I feel about educating our children, and the wonderful teachers and education staff that are out there caring and working so very hard for our children. So, that’s it from me this week my friends, enjoy your week, and don’t forget to appreciate your loved ones and the beautiful planet that we live on and with. Hope on!
Twitter – follow me on Twitter to see all of my other best reads that don’t quite make it on this blog, but are still awesome – I love a chat too, so come visit 🙂. Facebook – I have a Practical Mystic Facebook page, where I share inspirational and thought provoking ideas, quotes and art. I would love to see you there 🙂