Friday Features ~ “NIGHT” by Elie Wiesel

Elie Viesel

The world lost a great humanitarian this month. Elie Wiesel died on July 2, 2016. He was 87 years old.  He entrusted us with his legacy and we must never forget.

I knew of Eli Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a survivor of Auschwitz,  author and humanitarian, but I confess I had not read his most notable memoir, Night. I read his book this week, in one sitting. The most recent edition is 120 pages and is a new translation in English by his wife, Marion Wiesel.

I cried through the entire book.  I had to find a box of tissue before I finished the preface, which read in part,

“If in my lifetime I was to write only one book, this would be the one….Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness, the immense, terrifying madness that had erupted in history and in the conscious of mankind?” ~ Wiesel

My heart still aches having read of the atrocities he witnessed and endured as a teenager in the concentration camps during World War II. I can’t imagine a world where such things happen, where humans inflict so much suffering on their fellow man. And yet this is our world – humanity’s history.  Night, is Wiesel’s legacy and a reminder to the human race of our potential for great evil, and great good.

“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.” ~ Wiesel

We must all ask ourselves how we can best serve humanity.  Because as Elie so eloquently stated when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize:

“There is so much to be done, there is so much that can be done. One person of integrity can make a difference, a difference of life and death….Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.” ~ Wiesel

After reading Elie Wiesel’s book I was inspired to write this poem, Rise Up in Love.

Rise 3

do you hear the wailing cries of humanity
echoing through time and past atrocities?

have we lost our minds? we must not lose our hearts
when consumed with fear, humanity comes apart

our hearts know our true selves
love is where the heart dwells

we must quiet our minds and be still
and listen to our beloved’s goodwill

hear the call of our beloved proclaim
rise up in love for your neighbor without blame

rise up in service to humanity; we are all one
never forget; there is much to be done!

Poetry By Sue

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Friday Features ~ Digital Deadwalkers

google image

google image

They wander aimlessly in circles and into one another, unable to lift their gaze from the small digital device.  Who are these digital deadwalkers? Is this the Zombie apocalypse– the end times?

Nope.

Welcome to the wireless digitized world of augmented reality (AR). Ok, maybe this is the zombie apocalypse… bwahaha!

I first heard the phrase “digital deadwalkers” in a commercial and laughed out loud. But recently the deadwalkers have amassed a new following. By the thousands, they are flocking to the streets, taking over parks and other public spaces. The deadwalkers are engaged in a new reality. They see things we don’t. They chase things we can’t see and engage in battles with invisible monsters.

Confession. I have joined their ranks.

I have officially become a digital deadwalker, fully immersed in AR and loving it – all in the name of research of course! My new zombie friends are fierce competitors, even if they’re only 12 years old!

If you’re still living in the analog world, or under a rock, you may have missed it, but look around your neighborhood and tell me what you see. Remember all those kids slumped over on the couch playing video games until the wee hours of the morning?  Yeah, those kids – pasty white, zombiesque from lack of sun – those kids are outside walking in search of …. wait for it….. drum roll ….. Pokémon!

You heard me right folks – what’s old is new again – welcome to POKEMON GO ! Free on both Android and iPhone. I hit level two on my first outing…just down the street from my house at the cemetery – spooky right?  Take two minutes and watch this video – mindblowing stuff – I kid you not!

I know many are skeptical of this new Pokémon phenomenon, but kids are getting up and moving. I’m all for a game that gets kids outside exploring their neighborhood with friends.  Something tells me our digital deadwalkers are gonna need sunscreen! Maybe there will be a new meme: digital healthwalkers!

It’s FRIDAY peeps – escape your cubicle and get outside!

(Warning: yes, this game sucks your battery and yes, it collects data…oh well)

Friday Features ~ TRUST

Trust Pic

trust the universe, it knows your name
the world sees all and creates the game

trust your talents, accept with grace
the gifts you’re given and take your place

trust your words, they know their power
they make their way from seed to flower

trust your heart, forgo reflection
create with passion and dismiss rejection 

trust the potential that flows within
break free of the box, let your journey begin

trust in the magic of a world yet explored
embrace curiosity, each discovery a reward 

trust in the winds, the stars, and the moon
they guide the tides and sway your moods

trust your sight, the seer seeks
upon which path to reach the peaks 

trust in the knowing that this too shall pass
free of the illusion, you are free at last

Poetry By Sue

Friday Features – Stories of Lore

Stories of Lore

they arrived in earnest
late one night
from whence they came
I have no sight

yet from my pen
they filled the pages
stories of lore
throughout the ages

stories of angst
love and betrayal
pain and misery
the phantoms wail

verse after verse
each story alive
the spirits spoke
my task to transcribe

my mind bewitched
tears filled my eyes
my heart ached with sorrow
from tales of demise

I search for meaning
in the stories portrayed
each demands a hearing
I dare not disobey

and so I relent
letting go of the reigns
aware that the spirits
compose in quatrains

but the hour is late
and so I protest
enough is enough
I must get my rest!

and now I lament
over stories yet told
but await the return
and the haunting of souls

tired and weary
I fall to the floor
as dawn makes approach
ending stories of lore

Poetry By Sue

Poetry ~A Season of Bees

Art & Poem by Sue Viseth

Art & Poem by Sue Viseth

when seasons conspire
and nature prepares
the artist is antsy
with bees in her hair!

when spring awakens
upon mother earth
the artist paints seeds
sowing fields of rebirth

when long days of sun
warm oceans and tides
the artist of summer
portrays vibrant red skies 

when autumn winds whirl
and aspen leaves quake
so potent with color
the artist partakes

when winter snow falls
and  forests stand bare
the artist confined
within walls, beware!

when seasons conspire
time does not dare
stand still for the artist
with bees in her hair!

A Season of Bees Pic 2

Poetry ~ Words of Time

Words of Time Pic

old words they see
the writers of time
flower the pages
and mask them in rhyme

take care and take notice
and read line by line
of all that’s not said
over history and time

the words not yet spoken
never whispered aloud
find their way to the pages
but hide from the crowd

these truths are eternal
beyond space and time
no mortal be bothered
these riddles unwind

lest the words point the way
and the way be known
all who wander and wonder
the way would be shown

no words can contain
the truth from within
to each it is known
from where to begin

look not for the master
the key to the door
the light is left on
your purpose to soar

don’t trouble your thoughts
with questions of time
or the voices that whisper
and rattle your mind

the observer within
watches and waits
your own free will
reveals your fate

your story now written
in the stars it takes hold
aware in the knowledge
that all is not told

a realization bestowed
upon your last days
that a life fully lived
is worthy of praise

and so you release
lay down your pen
into the heavens
your story ascends

Poetry By Sue

Friday Features ~ I Am Another You

Mayan Greeting Final

I attended a lecture years ago on Our Shared Humanity. The speaker opened with a greeting, “Welcome, I am another you and you are another me.”  This ancient Mayan greeting, he explained, was used to express the interconnectedness of all things. The lecture focused on the common threads that bind us together and our ultimate “oneness”.

I am another you

In our human experience, he explained, we see everything as separate from ourselves. The “Others” are those who do not look like, dress like, think like or believe as we do.  We focus on those differences. We debate over who is right and who is wrong. We give energy to our separateness in an effort to strengthen our own ego. All too often we cultivate an environment of fear around the “otherness” of those not like us. The mere presence of the others is seen as threatening .

“And sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.”
~ Karen Armstrong, Author & Scholar

And so I had a thought. What if we celebrated our common humanity? What if we held festivals and feasts to celebrate our love of family, friendship and our need of community? A festival where all Earthlings can be seen, heard, loved and respected and most of all – accepted.

A Festival of Earthlings

Earthlings DayJust as we celebrate “Earth Day”, with the mantra: Join the fight for the future of our planet.  I’d like to champion an “Earthlings Day”: Coming together with love for the future of all Earthlings.

I’ve often wondered if it will take aliens arriving from another planet to finally unite the human race. I hope that’s not the case. I can envision the aliens arrival as they descend from their spacecraft, extending their hand in friendship with the greeting, “I am another you, and you are another me.” 

Aliens Earth Bar Framed

Could it be that all those we see as “Others” are the sacred otherness which is God, as Karen Armstrong suggests? Could it be, that I am you – and you are me?

Sending love and light to my fellow earthlings. Have a magical weekend! ~ Namaste

Friday Features ~ LET’S BLOW BUBBLES!

Bubble gum bag framed

We were captivated as we watched the pink bubble grow bigger and BIGGER. And then, it emerged, a smaller bubble within the large pink bubble. Slowly, the small bubble began to grow bigger and BIGGER.

Bubble TeriFramed

It was pure GENIUS!

Teri had managed to blow a bubble the size of her face and then another bubble within the bubble! Her cheeks puffed out as she blew more air into her masterpiece! Then,

POP! SMACK!

Teri’s face was covered in gooey pink gum!

"WINNER"

“WINNER”

We cheered and laughed as we crowned Teri the winner of our annual office bubble blowing contest!

We asked how she’d managed it. Her secret, she shared, was to chew two pieces of bubble gum at once so you had more to work with – BRILLANT! And so it went, in future years, that we fought to see how many pieces of bubble gum we could chew at one time while mastering the DOUBLE BUBBLE!

It was an office tradition, back in the day. We loved to find ways to “play” at work! In fact “fun” was part of our office mantra, “We get it done while having fun!”

Now I know there are those who say there is no place for such antics in the workplace, to which I say “PHOOEY”!! (That’s a technical term for buzz-kill!)

Early in my career, I worked in an environment where laughter was prohibited and attempts at play were grounds for dismissal.  I remember thinking, “If ever I’m ‘Queen of Everything’ I’m going to declare laughter and play a requirement!”

And so it came to pass, in my Cinderella story of a career, that I was given the opportunity to lead a talented group of professionals. It took some time to master the art of leadership, (that’s a blog for another day) but one thing I knew from the start was I wanted to create an environment that encouraged laughter, play, and creativity!

Enter the double bubble! Our weekly staff meetings often started with an inspirational quote (everyone was required to take a turn – no one got a pass on creativity and inspiration!) One year we read “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson – one chapter each week. We had bubble gum blowing contests, scavenger hunts,  and a variety of team events. We also worked hard, developed our strategic plan, set our annual goals – and attained them! Happy equals productive … just sayin.

I realize that our office culture may not work for everyone or every profession but let me offer up a little challenge. On Monday, bring a bag of bubblegum to work and on your break, or lunch hour, challenge your co-workers to a bubble gum blowing contest.  You’ll  make some memories but most of all you’ll laugh – and any day you can laugh at work is a good day! Do it! I dare ya!

It’s the weekend peeps….go buy your bubblegum and practice the “double bubble”!!!

~Namaste

Friday Features : “That Girl” – Version 3.0

Marlo Thomas 1966

Marlo Thomas 1966

I wanted to be her – THAT GIRL! I was five-years-old when Marlo Thomas tossed her hat in the air in the middle of New York City and became “That Girl”. The sitcom, launched in 1966, was the first of its kind to feature a young single career woman, living alone in the big city.  In honor of the fifty year anniversary, let’s meet the present day “That Girl, version 3.0”.

THAT GIRL VERSION 3.0

Seattle Sunset3 Framed

Google Image

She’s a millennial living on the west coast in Seattle, the Emerald City. She leases a mid-century apartment in the hipster Ballard District and works for a tech company. She’s a college-educated twenty-something with a busy social life that she shares via Instagram, Snapchat, and the occasional Facebook post.

On this day at work, she’s at the Seattle Convention Center for her company’s annual employee meeting and is surrounded by co-workers from around the world. The annual meeting resembles a sci-fi convention with laser lights and big screens. Skinny jeans, booties, and top knot scarfs are standard office attire for women at this global gathering.

goggle image

Goggle Image

The employee afterparty is an Uber ride uptown in the artsy Fremont District where gourmet food trucks line the block. Microbrew beer and fine wine are served in white tents, adorned with twinkling lights. Entertainment includes Rockaraoke (karaoke with a live rock band) and Silent Disco (clubbers wear old-school wireless headsets and sing and dance to their favorite disco tunes). Photo booths are set up and provide the backdrop for selfies and smartphones allow quick uploads to social media in real time.

On any given night, at the mid-century apartment, our millennial is practicing her gourmet cooking skills through a home delivery service called, Blue Apron.  After dinner, she checks in with Chadwick, her personal stylist via the Trunk Club app on her smartphone.  Before calling it a night, she’ll write a review on the latest beauty products she received through her Birchbox subscription. Life is good.

Ashley That Girl

Ashley

The millennial “That Girl, version 3.0″ is my daughter Ashley – the one with the wicked sunglasses! (I’m stealing those next time she visits)  She’s living her dream in the big city and I’m proud of her! But wait! We skipped a generation!

THAT GIRL VERSION 2.0

So what happened to version 2.0? Well, that would be my generation. I came of age in the seventies and yes, I love disco! I had a successful career and raised a family with the love and support of my husband of thirty years. I was fortunate to retire early to pursue my passions. I traded in my business card for a quirky calling card that lists my new endeavors: Artist, Writer, and Mystic (aka woo-woo aficionado). And now I’m exploring the blogosphere and learning Tai Chi. Life is good!

THAT GIRL VERSION 1.0

But I want to take a moment and thank all the women that came before me! The generations of women that included my mother and grandmother, who stood up for injustice and sacrificed so their daughters could realize their dreams. My wish is for women around the world to have the same opportunity, to live and grow in a world that values them for their contribution to the world. Because every woman should have the opportunity to be “That Girl” and live the good life!

~ Namaste

 

 

Friday Features: Alone

Alone FramedWho are you when everything has been stripped away? How long could you live by yourself in the wilderness? This is the premise of the show Alone on the History Channel.

alone_season 1 FramedTen people are chosen and dropped off in remote locations on the rugged coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They are allowed ten items to help them survive, alone, in the wilderness. The season one winner lasted 56 days alone in the wilderness. He emerged 60 pounds lighter and forever changed.

Alone: Season One Survivor

Alone: Season One Survivor

“I’m just saying, balance in all things. We’re gonna have to slow down, think and get back to being real people, listening to each other. I think if we focused on what we have in common instead of where we differ things would change.” ~ Alan Kay, Alone, Season One Survivor

I started watching season two last week and can’t help but wonder if I have the hutzpa to survive alone in the wilderness.  Heck, I get scared when hubby goes off for a weekend hunting trip and leaves me alone in the house! I can only imagine how terrified I would be in the woods alone, in the dark!

alone-cast-season-2 FramedIt’s interesting to watch what happens to these men (they included women in season two) as they struggle with survival in the harsh elements. Sure, building a shelter, making fire, finding fresh water and food require skill and effort but often that’s not what leads to the folks tapping out. It’s the mental fortitude needed to survive without the comfort of another human, left to their own thoughts. It’s not so much the “things out there” that they have to worry about, it’s what’s inside their own mind that they fear most.

It’s the weekend, so grab some popcorn and marathon your way through season one if you missed it. Full episodes of season one and the first three episodes of season two are available on the history channel website.

Join me on Monday and we’ll explore man’s search for meaning. I bet some of the folks from season one could tell you all about that.  Stay tuned ~

Have a great weekend my fellow travelers!

~Namaste