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Happy New Year

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Let us keep on being hopeful this new year, and all days thereon.

 

happy

Let us hope for each other.

Let us pray for each other, wherever we are in the world.

I wish all your dreams fulfilled.

Amen.

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“Race” should have been made obsolete a long time ago.

❤ ((!egad! 😳 the pretty red heart has been changed to a black one! I like my hearts red!… ottoke???!!!))

————————————————- To the post now (updated with info on 2 documentary films about the First Nations):

The conclusion is this:

Thus, given current scientific data, biological races do not exist among modern humans today, and they have never existed in the past. Given such clear scientific evidence as this and the research data of so many other biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists that demonstrate the nonexistence of biological races among humans, how can the “myth” of human races still persist?

If races do not exist as a biological reality, why do so many people still believe that they do? In fact, even though biological races do not exist, the concept of race obviously is still a reality, as is racism. These are prevalent and persistent elements of our everyday lives and generally accepted aspects of our culture.

Thus, the concept of human races is real. It is not a biological reality, however, but a cultural one. Race is not a part of our biology, but it is definitely a part of our culture. Race and racism are deeply ingrained in our history.

Excerpt from: “There Is No Such Thing as Race” by Robert Wald Sussman, here:

http://www.newsweek.com/there-no-such-thing-race-283123

heart  Here’s a similar article: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/01/racism-science-human-genomes-darwin

There’s no sense in referring to persons by the color of their skin. It’s a subtle form of discrimination at the least.

On to a related topic…

500-nations

This is an excellent huge documentary film first put out in 1995 in a series of parts. It was hosted by Kevin Costner and it is accessible in YouTube (just look for it); or simply buy the DVD. It has also come out in book form so you can try looking for it in your favorite bookstores.

If you hear somebody say that this or that civilization was the best ever, caution, because that person has not actually done research and so the rest of what he is saying could just be his opinion backed by half-truths (ergo, not the truth). Like this man here:

stupid-opinion

If you liked 500 Nations or if you are interested in the current events associated with the First Nations (American Indians) then you won’t regret seeing this documentary (it looks at the Lakota today; and please “share” it as well as download it if you can 🙂 THANKS!):

heart Peace heart

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heart 🙂 I made my ‘hearts’ for here 🙂

 

I Support Duterte. Part 6.

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I’ve just decided that the world is free to condemn Duterte an ass.

However, for us who understand what’s happening, he’s our chance at making it good in this life ever since European Christianity destroyed our society until today (read about it here (pdf):  david-okazaki_colonial-mentality). That’s 500 long years. But whereas Europe has devalued Christianity, we to this day remain a God-fearing people, maybe all not religious but certainly with a very strong sense of the spiritual <<< this I have no doubt.

The other day an illegal-drug laboratory capable of producing 400 kilos in one day was discovered. The operators abandoned the building when Duterte won the election.

The world can call us a nation of idiots, that’s fine. We’ll just do what we think is right. Anyway, when Duterte talks publicly he actually means it for our consumption, ergo his complete array of colorful expressions — such contextual emphatic expressions that non-Filipinos will find difficult to understand — so that we finally begin to think for ourselves, be free from “colonial mentality” that is our bane.

We had been stupid as a people and now is our chance to make up.

The industrialized world does not know all this, how we have suffered all these centuries, so they have no right to meddle with how we solve our problems. Instead they should be asking us in what ways we need help, because we urgently need help. But Duterte will not sell our national soul just to get help. If we can educate ourselves to the truth within Duterte’s term, either before he retires or before he is assassinated, then we’d have a hope at stopping the oligarchs’ excesses and give more chances to our poorest folks to better their lives.

The world condemns Duterte just on the basis of his stupid stupid mouth but for us his mouth is the least of our problems. And if indeed he was a cold-bloodied killer then that’s his business before God. (How can his neighbors of/for decades love him if he violates human rights?) But right now he’s not being a cold-bloodied killer as a president. I understand what’s happening. As of now he has restored the power of the law in the land. He constantly lectures us in all of his speeches that we must abide by the law. We have hope now in witnessing the culture of impunity disappear among the elite moneyed class. These are little gods, out of the reach of law. These elite are the remnants of the colonizers. Duterte has made enemies among them simply because he won the election. (There are mga elitista, many of them, who work for the plight of the people, and they are not part of who I’m referring to. There are non-elitista who are biased against Duterte simply because they are embarrassed of his rough ways and they want to distance themselves from him — these are the ones who are slaves to colonial mentality and many of them are fans of Leila de Lima<– that’s link to a video where she hysterically defends herself in front of media, a very un-lawyer-ly and cowardly procedure, instead of facing her accusers at the parliamentary investigations.) 🙂

The police and the wo/men-at-arms have once more become honorable to the people’s eyes. They’re back with their dignity in their correct places because they are sure now that the law will not abandon them to the moneyed-powerful. My people have not felt more safe and more hopeful for a very long time. The 700,000 who voluntarily identified themselves to the police got scared of the power of the law by way of the police. This was what Duterte wanted to happen. The majority were identified, had their names put on record, and were released back to their homes. The rest of us who have not violated the law are not scared of anything at all.

When the world calls Duterte an ass it’s us the people who feel the pain and we are at a loss because the world is more quick to condemn that to find out what’s true. The only way to stop Duterte’s foul mouth is to simply not provoke him in the first place. If the world thinks we’re a stupid primitive bunch, then so be it. We are only trying to survive as humans with dignity.

Here is the Philippines’ foreign policy (DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay privilege speech, UN General Assembly, Sept. 20-26, 2016). The Secretary of Foreign Affairs Pefecto Yasay, Jr. is a pastor’s kid, a lawyer and teacher in the U.S., and Duterte’s dormitory roommate while both were in law school. Watch and listen:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE7PT2ynTk4

—–> Here is a summary of that speech from the UN webpage, below. (Source: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/philippines )

Statement Summary: PERFECTO R. YASAY, JR., Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said that after his country’s hard-fought and hard-won independence, it zealously valued and guarded its rights and liberties through democracy and a system of checks and balances.  Five months ago, the people had elected new President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with an unprecedented and resounding electoral mandate.  For far too long, the Philippines had been unable to fully advance due to corruption, worsening crime, and the prevalence of illegal drugs, and corruption had become the breeding ground for the illegal drug trade.  The Government was determined to eradicate illicit drugs and their manufacture, distribution and use.  The rule of law and strict adherence to due process fully governed the campaign against corruption and criminality.  Noting that the Government’s actions had grabbed national and international attention for all the wrong reasons, he urged everyone “to allow us to deal with our domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals, without undue interference”.  Extrajudicial killings had no place in Philippine society, and the Government did not and would never empower its law enforcement agents to shoot-to-kill any individual suspected of drug crimes, though police had the right to defend themselves when their lives were threatened.

The goal of the Government was to “leave no one behind” in its development strides, he said.  The Philippines continued to enhance the delivery and quality of social services, including in health, education, food, water and housing.  As one of the most disaster-prone and vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change, the Philippines reiterated its call for climate justice and the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities in the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement.  The country remained committed to the rule of law and to peace, including the recent decision on the Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with regard to the disputes in the South China Sea.  Noting the final and binding nature of the Arbitral Award, the Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing peaceful resolution to regional disputes.

Here’s another speech that Secretary Yasay gave on September 15 at the CSIS Southeast Asia Program (Center for Strategic and International Studies):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1F1kgh7cbg

. ❤ . I pray that no evil intents interfere with the plans of the president and his cabinet for the nation. I pray that the cabinet officials and their staff stay motivated and creative in all their activities. I wish them all the best of health. I pray that the malicious elements in the senate and the house of representatives listen to their conscience, and change their hearts for the better. I pray that the elite who insist on being blind, up there in their white fanciful tower, come down and have their fancy shoes dirtied with farm manure so that they begin to see reality. I pray that the youth, the young ones who are in schools, study their lessons well and study some more beyond what their teachers could deliver to them because there’s much more truth out there that is not taught in our schools. I pray that all teachers and all of the religious and sacerdotal add to their duties the aim of eradicating “colonial mentality” from the nation’s collective consciousness. I pray for the complete healing of everyone who has decided to turn their backs on drug addiction, and start to be really happy. I pray that persons in government who used their positions for the purpose of enriching themselves stop at their tracks and start giving back to the people the money and goods that they have stolen from everyone. I pray that the person on the street, the ordinary everyday person, hold on to his/her God-given strength, continue to hope, continue to work hard and honestly, until our nation is collectively delivered from the constant threat of poverty. I pray that Filipinos all over the globe take care of their health, stay sane and reasonable, not be blinded by the power of money, and stay spiritually intact in the face of any form of discrimination and cold treatment. I pray that the foreigners in my country stay safe, healthy, happy, and appreciative of the people’s friendliness. And I pray that the little ones, the children, imitate the president’s sweet little daughter and not follow our Tatay or Lolo Digong in speaking bad words. 🙂

My dear president, my virtual teacher, our leader, our elder brother, our friend, please continue to be in good health, stay humble, stay grounded, don’t forget to pray everyday, don’t forget your children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, stay strong-willed, stay sane and lucid, stay reasonable, stay “transparent”, and manage your stress so that it doesn’t affect your rational judgments. Stay compassionate and sensitive to the poorest among us. May God bless you, our nation, and all peoples of the world.

battle-of-bud-dajo-march-7-1906

Source of picture above:  http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/moro-insurgents-1906/

That was the picture that Duterte was referring to at the meeting with the ASEAN leaders. Here is an account of that meeting:  http://themaharlikan.info/world/duterte-showed-this-picture-in-front-of-asean-leaders-diplomats-to-obama/

…   and here is an account in relation to the picture when he was not yet a president: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2005/10/the-bud-dajo-massacre-a-hundred-years-later-will-america-apologize-2/

…  and here below is a 2011 scholarly/academic study of that 1906 event

Hawkins, Michael C. “Managing a Massacre: Savagery, Civility, and Gender in Moro Province in the Wake of Bud Dajo.” Philippine studies 59, no. 1 (2011): 83-105. Read here (pdf): managing-a-massacre_michael-hawkins-2011

We are not a country of haters. Japan was not less cruel to us (that’s why my grandfather had bitter memories of such cruelty) but we have no problems with Japan anymore. My cousin even teaches English to school kids there and is now starting her own family there, too.

Stay well, everyone, and let’s try to be happy in whatever peaceful we can. It doesn’t need much to be happy (yeah, and here’s my recommended book on that topic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28254.Stone_Age_Economics

🙂

<3.

Love the Girls

I am very much revolted by this document by the ISIS detailing guidelines for the enslavement or merchandize of girls.

I have several other issues to gripe about here*, but for now nothing prompted me strong enough to just break off from drinking my pu-erh + green + peppermint tea to just simply stand here and type away.

Granted that even in the Ten Commandments women are shown in there as among the properties of a man, it doesn’t follow that this topic of using women as so is (unconditionally) sanctioned by any deity in the sense that Greek-philosophy originating worldviews would interpret it from the wording in the text. Granted that you may not have any respect at all for the deity called Yahweh whose name appears in the context, it does not follow that this deity sanctions the “use” of women. (I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by my explicit spelling out of the Tetragrammaton.) The fact that you do not have any consideration for any so-called deity does not follow that you condone the use of women as commodity like you do with salt or toilet paper.

This is how the biblical text Exodus 20:17 goes, per two translations that do not use the archaic term “covet” (which means “to want something (which you do not have) very much”, per Merriam-Webster):
Per GNB (Good News Bible):   “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.”
Per BBE (Bible in Basic English, 1965):   Let not your desire be turned to your neighbour’s house, or his wife or his man-servant or his woman-servant or his ox or his ass or anything which is his.

You may argue that this text came from the very region where ISIS proliferates, the Middle East. It does not follow that this is the way the entire Middle East looks at women: as a property/commodity at par with currency exchanged.**  You cannot tell me that Islam does not respect its women as much as Christianity does because my Muslim blood cousins are very much respected in their households, per my firsthand witness of it being so; on the other hand at the same time saying that Christianity itself has issues against women that are currently trivialized by so-called spirituality, per my firsthand witness of it.

So where does this violence in man stem from? Aha, this is within the realm of the problem of evil. This is a realm of complicated and long-winded arguments. I have hardly begun to step into this arena. But then my question implies the radical ingredient of the problem: the generic man, adam, the one who comes from and will return to dust. This adam decides whether to treat a girl as a form of currency or not, to treat a girl as an extension of lust or not, to treat a girl as a tool for the expression of desire for power over xyz, simply of the desire of being able, of having the capacity to be able to do anything without restraint. This adam chooses. This adam’s choice depends on the array of choices available. If this adam sees a choice that is for compassion, against suffering, for love, against exploitation, but refuses to choose it, then this adam by his/her own actions condemns his/herself. If this adam is not able to see this choice for love, then us, fellow-adam, what do we do about it?

What ISIS is concerned about is appalling to the maximum. Seeing that it is so, then what do we do about it in our own little world? You can speak about and against it. You can do a small or a big thing to fight it. But whatever you do, listen to that gentleness that speaks to you, so that you do not fall prey to the desire to have power over xyz (i.e., power over anything in any form, be it things or individual minds or massive enticements, etc.), to the strong urge to “move things” including the one that you deem “good”. Remember what Jesus of Nazareth spoke of which thing here on earth is “good”***, and start from there.
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Notes:
* A hugely popular actor’s pathetic power trips over desirable women who have been silenced for decades by the prevalent celebrity-worshiping pop culture and who are now gathering their voices together; the world’s incompetence at giving priority for arms race and space exploration over the education of the most vulnerable of minds — girls and children — that now is powerfully put into the limelight through the recognition of the effects of the lives of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi by the Nobel Peace Prize; the dazed vulnerability of compassionate girls falling in love for ‘hurt’ men, not seeing nor protecting themselves against these men’s myopic self-absorbed tendencies as portrayed by the tragedy of Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius; the stupidity of the powerful few who insist that global climate change has nothing to do with man, and at the same time not being able to compassionately address the devastating destruction of homes and livelihoods and lives at the Pacific rim NOT THE LEAST SMALL (in all sense of the word) NATIONS SUCH AS THE PHILIPPINES; the ongoing exploitation of the richness of Africa in both sides of the Atlantic, both by not promptly addressing the color-divide issue (Those who say that the term “race” is obsolete, speak up!) and by mis/mal-educating Africa toward the temple of consumerism; to the lack of readily available arguments against the all-goodness of modernity, hence consumerism, hence the inevitable response to the need for “servants for the big house”, hence the callous or blind exploitation of the “household” help be it domestic, commercial, coming from the same or from a different cultural background; and for crying out loud, what’s this thing about “measuring” a girl’s morality against her state of so-called virginity as if a girl can by herself devirginize (herself) or that girls get themselves devirginized for the sake of being so??!!!!

** Though not directly in the sense of “currency exchanged”, Professor Christine Hayes of Yale University speaks of Israelite provisions (note: “Israelite” is different from “Israeli”, but I have no time to get into this here now, though I’m sure information on it is readily available in the net) in the Torah (that’s the original term for what is popularly known as the Old Testament) where vulnerable persons in the society, which invariably includes women and orphans, are expressly protected against exploitation, here:   http://oyc.yale.edu/transcript/952/rlst-145. It’s a longish read, but if you’re impatient then you can look over the part within which says, “So it’s also illuminating to compare the Ancient Near Eastern and the biblical legal materials in terms of the concern for the disadvantaged, the elimination of social class distinctions, and a trend toward humanitarianism.”, which is under Chapter 4. Radical, Characteristic Features of Israelite Law [00:29:58]. This is not to pretty-up the Bible here in the apologetic sense, but just to say that Christianity and Islam originated from a way of thinking, among peoples, that took care of systematizing compassion and care for everyone and everything within their way of living.

*** Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 : “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. […]” (GNB)

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added 18th January 2015:

I’d say something similar for Boko Haram. If you wonder what a monster looks like, a hideous manifestation of evil, then it’s this group’s activities.

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Take care, everyone. Go out and breathe the fresh air. Get out of the shadows and soak in the winter sun. Fall in love. Greet the elderly. Laugh until your stomach hurts 🙂 hasta la vista!

Move, On

Once a long time ago I meditated on the instances of happy and painful relationships, either between lovers or between spouses. In my country divorce is not possible. The main reason is that it’s predominantly Roman Catholic, about 98% of the population. The other reason is the way we look at marriage as a permanent thing. Of course separation of spouses happen, as well as infidelity. But since the norm is marriage then even co-habitation is frowned upon. For many families it can incur ostracization of the young lovers. Parents who have cohabited for a long time do not generally make the set-up known, knowing that it will earn some stigma and will affect the children. If they have caring friends these will encourage them to officiate their union even if it’s only a civil rite. Also, civil rites are not as respectable as a church or a sacerdotal sanctioned ritual.

As part of our public education we would discuss marriage and domestic issues in school. One question that came up was if we are in favor of divorce being legalized. That question was taken by us seriously, us not having been raised in an environment where divorce is an open option. The sound of the word “divorce” is equivalent to that of “disaster”, “failure”, “destruction”, “insecurity”, “shame”, “secret”, “lies”, and even “outcast”. The challenge of even saying anything for it, for just the tiniest bit, was daunting.

I did not care much about the question until one lazy summer afternoon as I was spending my usual dreamy lounging time in my parents’ bedroom, where there’s always wonderful lighting streaming inside from two adjacent walls, I came to suddenly put my thinking into considering under what circumstances would I be found to agree on legalizing divorce. I zeroed in on my only answer: violence. I concluded then that a person cannot be made to stay in a set-up where he or she (in our context it’s she predominantly) is constantly in fear of being hurt. But I also thought about what if one of the spouses falls in love with somebody else. Ah, this was difficult stuff to answer as I haven’t been there myself. I had to consider this angle because it seems to be a popular reason why partners split.

Is it possible for a committed person to fall in love with another not her/his partner? If I were married and it happened to me what would I do? This part I had also answered for myself, which in turn made me conclude that choosing the mate isn’t a joke nor a thing to be taken lightly. It definitely cannot be based on hormones alone, although at that time I, too, knew little about this side of things. But, hey, rhetorics is free for everyone, even for budding snotty-nosed university graduates.

spring deer

1 Corinthians 13      (click to enlarge)

Of course it’s possible to fall in love with anyone anytime. What kind of question is this in the first place? Is it even a valid question at all? Are emotions and attraction things that can be channeled the way arguments can be tiered one after the other? Is there even a fool-proof theory about loving? I mean, if God is Love, then how does one deal with this phenomenon? All peoples have their own ways of talking about this phenomenon, and does one group of people or language or worldview define the entire humanity, then and now?

For a “love” between two persons who can’t take it to the socially accepted commitment status, like for instance in my country having it labeled as bigamy, which is illegal, then how could this “love” be handled? “If I were married and it happened to me what would I do?” I guess I have to decide and move on. But since I haven’t been married and so have not been initiated into this level of existence, I will not presume that I know anything about it. Therefore, I can’t openly say here anything by way of response to it. Theoretical musings is fine but I would rather show respect to the real circumstance experienced by real people who can’t even start to find words to deal with it, not even in their own private thoughts.

But what if a married man makes me feel loved and I found it honest and genuine and non-restricting, what do I do?

Certainly not go out on a date with him. Certainly not encourage the flirtation. Cetainly not fan my vanity into a blazing ember. Am I nuts? The guy is married. He has committed himself to something that excludes anything else at par with it. As one of my favorite shows would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

But what if I, too, have started to love him? Ah, then that’s another story. To smell the coffee I think I would first and foremost honor his honesty and courage in making me aware of his care for me. I mean, who am I to reject such a wonderful gift? It’s “love” after all, it’s something unfathomable. It’s from God. It’s God’s language.

Then I would refrain from asking too many questions. I won’t even ask questions at all. I would nip all questions in the bud. Here Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle applies: defining an electron’s state alters its state. I will refrain from putting my finger on anything in order to pin it down, they be descriptions, qualifications, quantifications of this “love”. Any attempt to pin it down, in this context, will result into a failure. Defining it will destroy it. Getting hold of it will cause its demise. I would leave things as they are, without defining them — be they concepts, words, situations. They will not be turned this way and that for closer examination. They will be left as a blur and will not be designated into compartments or categories. Their rawness will be respected. That way they will not be suffocated, robbed of air, and fester for the lack of it.

As this “love” is there, then what could be done with it? Why, celebrate it, of course. It is not “forbidden”, for goodness’ sake. Love is free, is encouraged, is induced, is given, is spread out, is scattered. The world has been constantly suffering because love has been twisted and restricted and deformed and castigated. But since, in the context I’m talking about here, it’s in an instance where care has to be exercised on its behalf, then I would suggest to take this “love” into another plane of existence. It cannot be insisted on the same plane where it will foster suffering, because that’s not its purpose. Love is something that affirms our humanity, it is a life-giving phenomenon, and hence it does not belong to the arena of suffering. Don’t ask me more about how I speak of it here because, my dear, words are not adequate to speak of this phenomenon in this angle.

So maybe I’d say I’d let this love dwell with the clouds, let it float on the calmest of ocean surfaces, let it flit with the wind among the many branches of as many trees that greet me on my way to wherever everyday, let the leaves’ rustle talk of it to me. Let my echoed footsteps be chants of meditation on it. Silent. Abiding. Subdued. Sometimes even forgotten for a while but certainly there, accompanying me, holding on to the tips of my hair as the breeze blows imperceptible strands here and there, sometimes.

So I won’t conjure physical manifestations of it. “Fantasies” and “possibilities” are words not even entertained. I will not “insist” it; will not “force” it into “fruition”; will not “fight” for it — these avenues does not belong to “love”. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is the only way I can show respect to my emotions, by not straining it with emptiness, not feeding it with conjectures the probabilities of which approach zero. This, too, is the way I could love my self in this context, and so lift my self up from the plane of senselessness.

It was a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) that prompted me on this reflection. Here it is:

I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,
You could not.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’,
That new grace

Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

They’d judge us-how?
For you served Heaven, you know,
Or sought to;
I could not,

Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
Rang loudest
On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And prayer,
And that pale sustenance,
Despair!

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There’s an explanation of it here:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/close-reading-i-cannot-live-you
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hope-robin-pavitrata-500

I also wanted to explore what I could say in resonance to it, from a different context.

So, I’d say, “I love you, and I must pick my self up from here and carry on, as well as I can possibly do. This is the only way I can show God, and you, how much I honor and value Him, and you.”

I hope that the way I spoke of it isn’t as sad-sounding as Dickinson’s expression here, of her love. Here’s another of her poems, an encouraging sounding one that I copied from http://www.shortpoems.org/emily_dickinson/


Have the best of days, everyone! 🙂



us, unfurl

Like the flowers…

(click to enlarge)

A New Song

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yellow poster

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(The quote is a copy from somewhere. Thanks! I assembled the poster. Am I getting better at it, or what? 🙂 Thanks to the original photographer!)

(the intended script is still cooking in the dendrites; but the poster is yummy enough. peace!) ❤