Gate A-4

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning
my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement:
“If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please
come to the gate immediately.”

Well—one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just
like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,”
said the flight agent. “Talk to her. What is her problem? We
told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly.
“Shu-dow-a, Shu-bid-uck Habibti? Stani schway, Min fadlick, Shu-bit-
se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly
used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled
entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the
next day. I said, “No, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just later, who is
picking you up? Let’s call him.”

We called her son, I spoke with him in English. I told him I would
stay with his mother till we got on the plane and ride next to
her. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just
for the fun of it. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while
in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I
thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know
and let them chat with her? This all took up two hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling of her life, patting my knee,
answering questions. She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool
cookies—little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and
nuts—from her bag—and was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the mom from California, the
lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same powdered
sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie.

And then the airline broke out free apple juice from huge coolers and two
little girls from our flight ran around serving it and they
were covered with powdered sugar, too. And I noticed my new best friend—
by now we were holding hands—had a potted plant poking out of her bag,
some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country tradi-
tion. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, This
is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in that
gate—once the crying of confusion stopped—seemed apprehensive about
any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women, too.

This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye

(via Julie)

Something Real

“I hope you find the kind of love that makes you a softer person. The kind of love that makes you want to be a better man or woman, the kind of love that believes in you and supports you, that stands by your side. I hope you find someone who quickly becomes your favourite thing — someone who makes the fall less fearful, someone you can’t help but choose every single day. I hope you find someone who shows you just how deeply you can feel, just how deeply you can love. I hope you find something real, because nothing is more beautiful than loving someone who loves you back. Nothing is more beautiful than loving someone who builds you a home in their heart.

I hope you find acceptance. The kind that rings through your bones, the kind that quiets the voice inside of you that tells you that you are not good enough, or that you are falling behind. I hope you forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, for the past you keep alive inside of you. I hope you learn to let go — of the things you had to do in order to heal, or to grow, or to survive. You are doing your best. You are human. Please don’t ever forget that.

But most of all, I hope you find yourself out there. I hope you figure out your heart, I hope you figure out your mind. I hope you learn how to be kind to yourself, how to embrace the journey you are on. I hope you learn how to be proud of the person you are becoming, I hope you learn how to be proud of where you are — even if it isn’t exactly where you want to be. I hope you learn to fall in love with the process, with the messiness of life and the confusion of it all.

At the end of the day, I hope you find what you’re looking for out there. I hope your life inspires you.”

Bianca Sparacino

To My Future Life Partner

“When you are ready for fireworks instead of sparklers, I will come for you.”
— Erin Van Vuren

The Universe Is Conspiring

“The universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success. This will be much easier to do if you embrace this pronoia.”
— Kevin Kelly

Pronoia is a neologism coined to describe a state of mind that is the opposite of paranoia. Whereas a person suffering from paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them, a person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good

The Importance of Uncertainty

“I think it’s so easy to extrapolate from this moment as if we know what’s going to happen in a week, or a month, or three months, or six months, or a year. And this is one of those situations. The Buddha was always talking about it, of the importance of uncertainty. That really, we don’t know what the next moment is going to bring.”
Mark Epstein

Life

“Life is best thought of as service.”
— W.R. Lethaby

(via)

Spirituality

“Spirituality is not a religion. Being spiritual just means you are in touch with your own Divine self”.
– Anna Pereira

(via)

Accepting Love

“I have a theory—based on my experience interviewing thousands of people—that we humans are able to achieve wholeness and well-being in direct proportion to how we receive love. Not how the love is given, but how we are able to process and accept it.”

“I believe love when it comes in. It’s one of the most profound revelations I’ve ever heard. Love is all around, showing up in small offerings and dramatic encounters and everyday gestures. But we can’t receive it if we’re fixated on finding it in a package called “parent” or “husband” or “lover”—whatever label fits the story you’ve told yourself.”

How Oprah Taught Her Daughters From South Africa to Accept Love

The Root Of Suffering

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”
Ram Dass

The Truth

“When in doubt tell the truth.”
Mark Twain

A Loving Home

“A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.”
— Dalai Lama XIV

Any Fool Can Criticize

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain; but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”
— Dale Carnegie

(via)

Start The Walk

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”
Rumi

Walking

“Walking is mapping with your feet. It helps you piece a city together, connecting up neighbourhoods that might otherwise have remained discrete entities, different planets bound to each other, sustained yet remote. I like seeing how in fact they blend into one another, I like noticing the boundaries between them. Walking helps me feel at home. There’s a small pleasure in seeing how well I’ve come to know the city through my wanderings on foot, crossing through different neighbourhoods of the city, some I used to know quite well, others I may not have seen in a while, like getting reacquainted with someone I once met at a party.”

Why We Walk: A Manifesto for Peripatetic Empowerment

The Great Ones

“The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?”
— Henry Miller

Search for Truth

“When the search for truth becomes a celebration of being, all of life transforms on it’s own.”
Matt Kahn

Emanate Love

“If you want to cure the world, don’t emanate fear – emanate love.”
— Ram Dass

An Imagined Letter from Corona to Humans

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Stop.
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.
Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Listen.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

– Kristin Flyntz

On Groundless Fears

“There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
— Seneca

Learn How To Sway

“Life is funny. It can be so random, so you have to learn how to sway. You have to be open to what slightly puzzles you, to what you feel curious about, not just what you already like because then there’s no space to grow and become more. In Peru where I grew up there are earthquakes, and the buildings that are built to sway and move are the ones that usually survive. The ones that are too stiff tend to crack and fall down.”
— Mario Testino

When Overwhelmed

“When we are overwhelmed it is a moment when we need our own love, kindness and compassion the most.”
— Matt Kahn

Sweeter Than My Solitude

“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.”
Warsan Shire

Love Intentionally, Extravagantly, Unconditionally

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break, and all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”
— L.R. Knost

(via)

Whatever arises…

“Whatever arises, love that.”
— Matt Kahn

This book is rocking my world.