Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Travel Writers, Fein and Ross, Show Hope is More than a Campaign Word

My first thought at year's end is to reflect. But the year ended and other people's reflections came through my email that I could not top. One came from writers Judith Fein and Paul Ross.

Maybe hope is more than a campaign word. Here's some of what Judie and Paul wrote:

The year 2008 is hobbling to the finish line. It's been a tough twelve months for many people--personally, economically, professionally, emotionally. Everywhere, holiday banners and songs proclaim "joy to the world" and a "season of joy." But how can one find joy at this time?  As always, we look to our travels for lessons…In Damascus, Syria, a successful and well-known restaurant owner confessed that his satisfaction does not come from renown or money. He derives joy from helping orphans and refugees…In Israel, a rabbi derives joy by combining  Kaballah and Chinese medicine to help people heal….In Turkey, the Mevlevi order of Sufi dervishes twirl ecstatically to get closer to the Divine and shed their attachments to the material things of the world. One of them explained to us that everything in nature rotates--from atoms to planets-- and the dervishes turn too…All of these people undoubtedly experienced difficulties in their lives, but they also displayed a deep capacity for happiness.  We have no control over what life slings in our direction. But even when our hearts are heavy and we are weighed down with worries; even when we are crying and feel hopeless, we can always find a glimmer of light in the darkness by choosing to do whatever brings us deep joy."

So, that is exactly what I plan to do--bring deep joy daily into my life. The recipe includes savoring my family, blending my time between longtime and new friends, learning more about the world around me and sharing what I learn through words and action.

When I'm not trying the twirling dervish move, I have on the front burner a new blog: Neptune911.wordpress.com. In the oven is a book writing project, there's a stew of paddling a dragon boat with other women cancer survivors, weekly hikes, tennis, and docent work.

Sixohdear remains alive and well. I'm grateful for my readers and wish all a brightly colored year.

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