______________________________________________________

"Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
~George Bernard Shaw

Author Unknown, 2000
On the Kohala Coast, with its cliff top pastures and 
velvet green ridges, on her home island of Hawai`i

Who
Originally posted in 2001, updated 7/2003. 
 
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"When an old person dies, it is like a library burning."
~ Alex Haley, ROOTS

It's been said that "A seeker's almost religious obligation is to follow the string to its very end no matter where it may lead."  One day I will die and who knows, that string may lead that seeker here.  Long after I am gone, for the indefatigable seeker, the last piece in the puzzle may be waiting right here in this obscure corner of the Web.  And so today on my 50th birthday, I begin to preserve my "library" -- hopefully, safe from burning fires -- by stuffing this online "bottle" with my life's "messages."

 

Greetings,


As far back as memory takes me, I've had a raging love affair with words. Not a binky or blanky for me. My security blanket was a small collection of Golden Books.

These delightful books were faithful companions, going everywhere with me. Mother Goose nursery rhymes, heart-warming stories, and fairytales engaged my budding curiosity. 

Appealingly strung together and painting dazzling pictures in my mind, the words in these little hard cover books were magical. 

I loved them all.   

My imagination was fired up and I joined the grand adventures of fascinating characters like Pat the Bunny, The Poky Little Puppy, The Little Red Caboose, Bambi, The Ugly Duckling, and Lassie. 

Anyone who took the time to read aloud to me became the bearer of the best gifts of my childhood and became my instant best friend. Divine Providence surrounded me with people who obliged, particularly my parents, big sister, sitters and pre-school teachers who shared my love for books. Introducing me to the joys of reading and the adventures of learning, they were the best friends of my toddlerhood.

For their generous gifts, I am eternally grateful.

"The words loved me  and I loved them in return. 
~Sonia Sanchez 




One of my best friends, however, was not a reader. He was a writer of words who gifted me prodigiously. 

My world expanded beyond the Golden Books and I discovered a most versatile writer.  I assumed he was a "he" as his first name sounded a lot like Unko Atta Lie-man's (Uncle Arthur Lyman's). 

This person named "Atta Ah-Nohn" had written many of my favorite stories, poems, and fairy-tales.  Early on, I felt a good deal of little kid kindliness toward him. Atta Ah-Nohn's clever words delighted my ears and tickled my insides. I was impressed and inspired by his ability to string lots and lots of words together.

I remember thinking, "Maybe one day, like "Atta Ah-Nohn," I'll be a writer too. What fun it would be to write stories and poems all day long." 


 

The day did eventually come when the words 'author' and 'unknown' dovetailed into my awareness, and I realized that Atta  Ah-Nohn  was Author Unknown , who wasn't one person, but many persons!  Any writer whose name was not known was cited as "Author Unknown". 

Doh.

Like Mainers and Bostoners, Hawai`i folks drop the letter "r" when speaking the local patois called pidgin English (also known in academic circles as Hawaiian Creole English). Mother is "madda" and butter is "buddah."  And the word "author" and the name "Arthur" are identically pronounced in pidgin as "Atta."

Author Unknown meant exactly that:  the author is *not* known, perhaps because the name has been lost through time.  Or perhaps because the author wanted his or her identity to remain unknown... 

Whenever I happen upon the attribution, Author Unknown, I shake my head over my kid "dopey-ness". Today, as I sat in front of this computer conjuring up a pseudonym for this journal, I chuckled outright, when this came into consciousness:

I honor my imaginary best friend of my childhood --  and all other unattributed authors -- by adopting, Author Unknown", as my pen name for this online  journal.  

"Name Withheld," "I Wish to Remain Anonymous" or "Unattributed Author" just do have the same personal significance or ring.

 

 

Calm, contemplative thought restores me.

Solitary pursuits defrag my mental hard disc. I love to think.  I like to get lost in reverie.  Basically, I like having the time and solitude to do both, undisturbed.

Being alone is good for me. I seek out quiet places to be still, to introspect and reacquaint myself with myself. 


"I feel the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church. It's the light of grace for me. I never close my door behind me without the awareness that I am carrying out an act of mercy toward myself."   ~Peter Hoeg

Working in a mainstream, people-intense arena, I lead a public professional life.  I conscientiously seek anonymity in my private life, although I don't believe I'm obsessive-compulsive about it.  

Ok, ok.  So I could be mistaken for someone in the Witness Protection Program in my wide-brimmed hats, baseball caps or visors and dark glasses whenever I'm out and about. 

I'm ... shy?  

Updated May 2003:  

I just discovered that I am the ultimate highly sensitive person (HSP).  I scored a perfect on the self-test for this trait.  More on this trait can be found here.  Fascinating reading! 'Splains it perfectly!  I'm not shy.  Just highly sensitive. Heh!  The following makes complete sense:

Truth be told, I feel deeply for the begrudgingly famous, including the notoriously private J.D. Salinger of CATCHER IN THE RYE fame, cloistered up in his hillside aerie, much like the reclusive movie character, William Forrester, in Finding Forrester.

The irony of a private person keeping an online journal is not lost on me. If I want privacy, I am going about it in a very strange way -- by inviting perfect strangers to read my private thoughts? 

It must be that kid dopey-ness peeking through. 

As reclusive as I am wont to be, I nevertheless enjoy reading the WHO entries that online journalers include on their sites, as these entries "flesh" out the writer and help me to understand the writer. 

The WHO pages add context.  Fair is fair; if you are interested, you are welcome to join in that discovery.  Maybe, here, you'll find a part of yourself too. 

Although in my senior years, I am still caught up in the process of discovering who I am and what I might become.  I retain the passionate curiosity of an adolescent.  

What I write here are streams-of-consciousness.  So now is a good time to bail out if this is not your cup of tea. 

No need to read further unless you want to. Continue reading by choice only.  

And please do not take ANYTHING personally

"Fame is only good for one thing:
they will cash your check in a small town."
 
~Truman Capote 

 



Here are snippets of me: 

I am the quintessential Keirsey INFJ (Counselor).

I share the same temperament type as Mahatma Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt. Perhaps it should not be such a surprise for me to learn this, as both are two of my all-time inspirational heroes. 

INFJs are the rarest of birds. Just 1% of the population. But our impact on the world, it's been said, makes up for our lack of numbers. 

Keirsey says we tend to be psychic. Okay, so how come none of us predicted the events of  9-11-01?

My other human heroes include Albert Schweitzer, The Peace PilgrimMother Teresa, Henry David Thoreau, Oprah, and the brave souls of September 11, 2001: the New York City firemen, police officers, and rescue workers and the undaunted passengers who overcame the highjackers.

Succinctly, INFJ means:  

I: I am introverted.  Does this mean "anti-social"? No. I like and love people, in general; I am totally devoted to more than just a few. Simply, I enjoy being with people in smaller doses than most. 

N: I am intuitive. 

F: I am a feeling person.  I am more driven by my heart than with my head. Being a feeling person, does not, however, mean emotionally needy. 

J: I like things just right.  I prefer structure and discipline over "whenever, whatever, however."  

The saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place" makes perfectly good sense to me.  I like things organized, neat, clean, and uncluttered.  Although I prefer this way of way of being, this doesn't mean that my world is always pristine and orderly. 

Sometimes, when I am preoccupied with a project or kicking back and letting things fall where they may, I can be as messy as the Peanut's (Charles Schultz's) cartoon character, Pigpen -- that  'human soil bank,'  but not for very long.

 "Do more than exist; live.
Do more than look; observe.
Do more than read; absorb.
Do more than hear; listen.
Do more than think; ponder.
Do more than talk; say something."
~ Author Unknown

 

I am a lifetime learner. 

I began my 14 year college career as a foreign language major, formally studying Spanish, French, and Japanese.  In my forties, I studied Hawaiian and informally, Italian.  

Some people collect keepsakes; others, baubles.  I collect words. I am a raving lunatic for  words.  A word geek. Dictionaries and lexicons are precious to me.

These are my favorite words:   

Aloha, ambrosia, angelic, blessing, bliss, blue, bunny, butterfly, calm, caress, celestial, cerise, charisma, creativity, crystalline, daffodil, dawn, darling, dear, delicious, desire, dew, divinity, dolphin, effervescent, elegance, eloquence, enchanting, enlightening, exuberance, epiphany, essence, eternity, fairy, faith, fawn, fluffy, free, gentle, glistening, glow, glory, grace, happy, harmony, home, honeydew, honor, hope, journey, joy, juicy, kindness, kisses, love, lullaby, luminescence, lyrical, melody, mercy, moonlight, morning, muse, mysterious, mystical, peace, puppy, purple, quiescent, quintessential, rain, rainbow, radiance, renaissance, rest, saffron, satin, serenity, September, serendipity, simplicity, sincerity, sky, snowflake, soft, sparkling, splendiferous, starlight, subtle, sunlight, sunshine, synchronicity, tranquillity, trusting, twinkle, whisper, wonderful, zephyr

Search engines, especially http://google.com, and online dictionaries http://www.m-w.com and thesauruses are my wildest dreams come true.

In second grade, I experienced a clairvoyant moment of the most vivid and lucid kind. I visualized typing a word in a box and its meanings would pop up. 

It looked just like this.

As an undergraduate, I became fascinated with the study of human behavior: Psychology.  I loved learning about learning, cognition, and motivation. I studied behavioral psychology as an undergraduate; humanistic psychology as a graduate student.

I graduated with a double major in Psychology and The Fine Arts. 

Squeezing in as many art classes between requisite classes, I decompressed with art history classes of the Renaissance, Impressionistic, and Modern periods, as well as drawing, design, composition, sculpture, and jewelry design.  Art provides me with a creative outlet and a sense of freedom.  I am prone to “coloring OUTSIDE the lines.”

One day, when I retire from my "day job", I look forward to resuming the carefree, ever-stimulating life of a full-time student in the creative arts. Being an eternal student is my heart's ambition and delight. With an unsatiable curiosity, I continue to actively learn about the world, enrolling in classes that catch my fancy. 

For the time being, I have no complaints, as my heart is happy. Simply living my life has been an amazing education. I am constantly learning lessons in life from master teachers, who just happen to be my family, friends, co-workers and those I serve. 

"Education is that science which will prepare the human mind to become the fittest and most proper instrument for discovering, applying, and obeying the laws of the Universe." 
~ Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke College

I am a student of Feng Shui.

In 2000, on a lark, my husband and I took a class on Feng Shui.  

We learned that Feng Shui, as taught by Larry Sang, Ph.D. of the American Feng Shui Institute, was a mathematically-based science that is far more profound and logical than we ever imagined. 

What does Feng Shui have in common with the differential and integral calculus which became the basis for modern mathematics, co-invented by the great thinkers Newton and Leibnitz and today's computer bits and bytes?  All three originate from the binary calculations of the Yi Jing (formerly spelled, I Ching)!

Feng Shui's logic, abstractness and practicality captured our interest and we began our serious study of the ancient Asian science of traditional/classical Feng Shui, as opposed to faddist Feng Shui, by taking online and weekend classes.  

Delving into the intricacies and complexities of Feng Shui, our interest was fully captured, and with fixity of purpose, we rapidly progressed through the beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. We are putting this ancient science's knowledge to practical use by designing our retirement home according to Feng Shui and green-building principles. 

He is happiest who finds peace in his home.
~Goethe 



I am a reader. 

Profoundly, pervasively, quintessentially, I am a seeker. A knowledge seeker, that is. I am insatiable, ever hungry for mental stimulation.  I am the ultimate bookworm and info addict, with a huge passion for books, words, languages, and knowledge. 

May I be mindful, receptive and humble, remembering that the warrior is the forever student, and in fact only an eternal student may eventually become a master.

When I get a little money, I buy books; 
and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."
~ Erasmus

Books remain my security blanket; I never leave home without one. As long as books exist, I'll never need to get high on drugs. Ideas and thoughts do it for me. Voracious reading satisfies my curiosity about life and living.

Among my favorite books are WATCHERS by Dean Koontz (I run into used bookstores to buy up copies to give away);  MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION by Lloyd C. Douglas; THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill (think spiritual riches, not necessarily material); HAWAII by James Michener; COMPANIONS ALONG THE WAY by Ruth Montgomery; THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY by Irving Stone; EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck; (not for the faint-hearted): THE IMPERSONAL LIFE (also known as The Impersonal Life: The Little Book in Which Elvis Found the Light: Graceland Edition) -- now online in its entirety here -- and THE WAY OUT by Author Unknown; and TO KILL A  MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.  Other miscellaneous favorites can be found here.  Each one is a keeper.

As a corollary, I enjoy movies that are adapted from books:  LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, IMITATION OF LIFE, CHOCOLAT, HAWAII, and THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY.  

I am a member of Oprah's Book Club.

Updated 5/2003:  I chanced upon the work of Byron Katie:  LOVING WHAT IS and am now quite smitten with it. Its simplicity belies its effectiveness. More on "The Work" by Byron Katie is found here.  

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
~ Joseph Addison




I am a nerd. 

nerd: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits <computer nerds, book nerds>  Etymology: perhaps from nerd, a creature in the children's book IF I RAN THE ZOO (1950) by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) Date: 1951 ~Merriam-Webster

Contrary to the dictionary definition, I possess a modicum of stylishness, but not a whole lot more; I am just okay in looks -- hardly ravishing, but with the help of makeup, not exactly plain. 

The beauty that comes from within -- and its nurturance and enhancement -- is far more important to me that the outer shell.

I am socially ept when I choose to be. Those who think they know me well are surprised, if not shocked, to learn that I am not an extrovert, as my people-oriented job demands an outgoing, outer-directed persona. 

Calculus was my favorite class in college. I studied Physics, Biochemistry, and Organic Chemistry with relish.  

A nerd.  Told you so.

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty 
that depends on jewelry, or beautiful clothes, or hair arrangement.  
Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, 
with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet charm,
 which is so precious to God."
~ Peter the Rock

 

 

I am a born optimist.

No doubt in my mind, heart, and soul: there is a silver lining behind every cloud.  And every cloud is heaven-sent.

I strive to live The Optimist's Creed. When I fail to do so, I am reminded that God is not done with me and I am a work in progress.  


Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
Make all your friends feel there is something in them.
Look at the sunny side of everything.
Be as enthusiastic about the success of others 
as you are about your own.
Forget the mistakes of the past and press on 
to the greater achievements of the future.
Give everyone a smile.
Spend so much time improving yourself 
that you have no time left to criticize others.
Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.
~ Christian D. Larsen

Like Leibniz, the German philosopher and mathematician, I find merit in the thinking that "Evil exists, but only to accentuate goodness, one cannot be without the other."  My take on things: God is good and we live in the best of possible worlds, one in which everything is for the best and serves a higher purpose, no matter how terrible it may seem. 



I wear many hats.

I am a health care provider, by profession. 

By avocation, I am a reader, healer, teacher/storyteller, gardener, friend of animals, classical and Hawaiian music lover, Hawaiian language student, hula dancer, senior citizen, trusted friend, loving wife and mother, doting aunt and godmother, Web site creator, activist for what is true, beautiful and noble in the world, and dreamer. 

Passions elevate the soul to great things. 
~ Denis Diderot 



I am a worker bee.

I have worked a myriad of jobs for love, play and/or pay. 

My grandfather and father were my childhood role models and inspirations when it came to work.  From humble origins, both were Horatio Alger-types who became self-made successes through their own efforts, determination and perseverance. 

I adhere to their formula for success: Work with passion. Do more than you are paid for. Go the extra mile.  Give back. Gambaru! (Variants: Gambatte!  Gambaru!  Literal meaning: "to adhere to something with tenacity."  Approximate English translations are "Hang in there!," "Don't give up!," "Do your best!," and "Give it your all!")

My Grandfather

My Father

The apple that is me did not fall far from the family tree, as I have given every employer I've ever worked for my best effort. Grateful for the privilege and opportunities, I have left every job on good terms.  Making certain that no one was left on a lurch,  I made it a practice to train my successors -- on my time --  before I moved on.  I moved on, and on, and on... 

 Although I may appear like a job hopper from the look of this list, I have been at the same job as a self-employed health care provider for twenty years.   

I've worked as a baker's helper, babysitter, field worker, delivery person, gardener, laborer, drive-in worker, assembly-line worker, phone operator, salesperson, seamstress, barber, laboratory assistant, go-fer, grader, office assistant, office manager, graduate assistant, tutor, psychometrician, state government researcher, federal inspector, teacher, counselor, college instructor, lecturer, story-teller, researcher, administrator, health care provider, and corporate board member, Web site creator, writer, hospice volunteer.

Every work opportunity has been an invaluable gift. Serving as stepping stones to where I am now, they provided me with work skills, attitudes, values and meaningful life lessons. The menial positions have been as important, if not more important, as the 'loftier' positions, as they prepared the foundation for my later undertakings.  Most of all they have helped me to become a whole person without airs or pretensions.

It is clear to me that my 'emotional salary' is far more important to me than any financial compensation. Working ethically and being socially and environmentally responsible are far more important to me than a hefty paycheck. 

I restrict the investments of my time, energy, expertise and resources to those activities that focus on win-win-win “triple bottom lines”: fair profits, people and planet.

Whatever you are, be a good one. 
~Abraham Lincoln  

 

6/2003: I am magnificently obsessed.

I live a life surrounded by books, but there is just a short stack of books that I can say having touched my soul, made a lasting impact for eternity.  This is one of those books:

My life has been profoundly influenced by the book MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, written by an Indiana native son, Lloyd C. Douglas (1877-1951), at age 52. 

The work, Douglas' first work, was rejected by two major publishers. It was issued by a small religious publishing firm in 1929 and became a huge success, selling three million copies. In the 1930s, Douglas became one of the most popular novelists in the United States.

This book was one of a series of books that came into my life in "mysterious ways" shortly after my death experience (more on this later), each seeming to mirror aspects of  my life. This book touched and inspired me; to this day, its huge impression lasts, influencing every day of my life. 

I recommend this book (along with THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill) to anyone looking for a sure-fire formula for a successful, fulfilling life and spiritual riches.  Though written in the 1920s, it is a book that provides an insightful path for these times.  In a nutshell, it is about giving from the heart, which is truly selfless charity that is done so quietly that not even "the left hand knows what the right is doing." 

It is all about Aloha

Reading this book planted me on a Robert Frost's road less traveled, and "that has made all the difference", bringing unimagined success and happiness and goodness into my life.  The WHO page would not be complete without a brief description of this book.  I include the following with the clear intention of paying it forward to you, the seeker/reader.

In Magnificent Obsession, Lloyd Cassell Douglas tells the readable and engaging story of a wealthy, self-indulgent, and irresponsible playboy named Bobby Merrick. One day he awakens out of a coma, a consequence of a speedboat accident resulting from his own reckless thrill-seeking. He would have perished as a drowning victim had it not been for a revered and beloved surgeon who himself dies because of the rescue effort to save him. 

Realizing that his life had cost another's, a repentant young Merrick seeks redemption by remaking his life.  He becomes a doctor himself, trying to fill the kindly doctor's shoes and give back to the world what he had taken. He succeeds in doing this, but he discovers that there was far more more to the life of the older doctor than met the eye. 

By cracking a code in the older doctor's journal, Merrick discovers that that man had lived a life of service, selflessly -- and anonymously -- giving himself to hundreds of people in different ways. To some, he gave his money; to others, time and counsel; and to others, he donated his skill and talents. 

For every good deed he exacted one promise only ... that the recipient was never to reveal the fact of the doctor's help, nor was he or she to repay the doctor, but to do a good deed for someone else.  

For Merrick, the doctor's example of anonymous altruism becomes a magnificent obsession. He himself becomes consumed with the task of helping others--sacrificing his time, effort, and money in order to do so. Merrick asks that stories of his good deeds are not spread in order that he too may be rewarded in a more meaningful way than glory or material riches. He seeks to be a humble servant and not seek glory on Earth but in Heaven.

Merrick soon learns that the more he poured out, the more he found to pour out. And the more he gave himself to others, the more he himself was mysteriously given from unexpected sources.  

Filled with goodwill, this book is a marvelous godsend. It illustrates how when a person has an intention to do good by seeking the happiness of others as well as one's own, The Creator meets that person MORE than halfway. Powerful for anyone ready to act on its message, this book may be as life-changing for you as it was for me. The book's lesson made perfect sense to me: seek solely the recognition that counts -- God's.    

"Not everyone can be famous 
but everyone can be great 
because greatness is determined by service."

~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

After reading it, I was impelled to take bold steps to truly serve others and in the spirit of the book, to do so without receiving recognition. Suffice it to say, I have been magnificently obsessed for over 25 years. Making people happy makes me happy.  'Nuff said.  I shall divulge no more. Something about using it all up... Readers of this book will know exactly of what I speak.

Read MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION for yourself. If you are skittish or wary about books on spiritual or religious topics, know that this book is not lame, tinny or preachy in the least.  Rather, it is a carefully woven and intriguing story which inspired Hollywood to make two romantic movies, first in1935 and as a remake in 1954.  I would love to see it remade again in the 21st century.

Filmed in the San Bernardino mountains, Southern California.  Synchronistically, I now weekend nearby and plan to retire there.

 

The 1954 version starring Jane Wyman (the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan) and Rock Hudson in the role of Bobby Merrick was a box office hit. Directed by multiple Academy Award winner Douglas Sirk, it was considered a classic for years thereafter. 

Jane Wyman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in this movie, and Rock Hudson's made him a star.

Please don't settle for just watching the movie. With a watered down storyline, it is a poor substitute for the book. 

"Once you've found the way it will obsess you, 
but it will be a Magnificent Obsession."
~ Lloyd C. Douglass, The Robe




I am a country bumpkin, heart-mind-and-soul. 

Growing up way out in the sticks, next to a dense rainforest on a tropical island was one of the biggest blessings in my life.  

Click  on graphic to enlarge

Outside Disneyland, few people live storybook, idyllic childhoods.  Mine came close, although like everyone else with family ghosts, I negotiated life's stepping-stones with my share of blows and let-downs, thank goodness without any Dickensonian bleakness. 

Instead, weekdays, I lived on the outskirts of a thriving inland village of Pahoa on the island of Hawai`i at a time when it was populated by about a 1000 people. 

A glimpse of my home village:

Weekends, my family retreated to a sunny shore near the famous black sand beach of KalapanaOn that sun-drenched, eastern-most coast of the island, my family spent our happiest years together at our cozy beach house in Kapoho. 

Back then, there was no TV reception in that isolated corner of the island, making for our best family times. There was a closeness that we never had during the work week. We ate together, played together, sang off-key together, baked cookies,  and took the time to 'talk story' and communicate in ways that few families do today.  

It was a peaceful place to just kick back and relax, lie on a hammock under the shade of the hala trees, and dreamily pick out shapes in the clouds. When not exploring the shoreline and its tidal pools, fishing, crabbing, and swimming with the sea turtles, we whiled countless hours away reading stacks and stacks of books of every genre.  We became a family of avid readers.


The Sunrise House, the home of my childhood, Kapoho, Hawai`i

 

 

I am drawn to nature.  

Although I spent my childhood in tranquil, pastoral settings, I have since spent most of my life in suburban and urban environments. I love country living, wistfully yearning and pining at times for an earlier, simpler time: 

I Want to Be Six Again
by Author Unknown

No überconsumer,  I am low key and low-maintenance (my husband and I even cut -- hack? -- each other's hair). I visit malls but rarely.  Instead, I escape the concrete jungle and head for the hills, every chance I get. 

I am drawn to nature.  That's an understatement.  I actively seek it.  I crave it.  I require its solitude. Its silence.

We need to find God 
and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature -- trees, flowers, grass -- grow in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun,
how they move in silence...
We need silence to be able to touch souls.
~ Mother Teresa 

I thrive in peaceful, quiet and dry environments, especially lofty mountains, calm waters, the four seasons, and sunny, open spaces with gentle winds or cool breezes. I languish in high humidity; summer's heat wilts me. Also due to severe mold allergies, as much as I love the beauty of tropical climes, I do not linger long in the summer months. 

One day, when I retire, I hope to "winter-and-spring" in Hawai`i and "summer-and-fall" in the cool mountains of Southern California.

The country is where my heart is, where I spend most weekends. 

During the work week, I'm in limbo in the Los Angeles suburbs.

The Lake  - Close by - Even closer
Nearby
 -  The Area with Daily Views

Cities are nice places to visit.

 

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul."
~ John Muir

 


I am in love with a kind, loving, and interesting person, the better half of our marriage. (I am not being modest.)

Two Hares in Moonlight 
by Cho Tai Eok 

- Oolong the Rabbit
  - Oolong's human writes in English

DH (my husband) and I were born 20 days apart in the same month, 20 miles apart, but did not meet until we were 20 years old. We were born in the Year of the Rabbit:

We fell in love at first sight, at a time when I was not looking for love. Yes, that jolt of electricity between two people destined for each other really does happen.

To love someone means to see him as God intended him. 
~Feodor Dostoevsky 

The love of learning and for Nature provided the sparks that ignited a love eternal. One summer, we both returned home to our home island of Hawai`i and shared a fated conversation with a glance. 

Both undergraduates at the time, we enrolled in a plant science (local foliage identification) class at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (aka Hilo College).  We were lab partners. Ever since, we have been partners in every way, enjoying each other's company. 

 

After that fateful summer in 1972, we returned to our respective colleges; he, to the University of Hawai`i, Mânoa and me, to Indiana University. In spite of the miles that separated us and tested our bond, we became each other's best friend, confidante and beloved. 

We learned that we were close enough in style, vision and core values to make a solid collaboration possible but sufficiently different in temperament to make partnership interesting. Ours is the sort of Odd couple convergence that works. 

Two years later in 1974, we were married.  I am planning our next wedding in 2004 when we will renew our wedding vows on our 30th anniversary. It will be the simple wedding I had hoped for back in 1974.

 Our Wedding: July 27, 1974

Our marriage gave direction and purpose to our lives, and over the years, our relationship has evolved into a friendly, respectful association of equals, rather than the division, dependency and exploitation of nonequals.

Our seemingly glaring differences are actually one of our greatest sources of strength. He's my oak.  I am his bamboo.

I can wax rhapsodic about DH: he is bright, fun, nonjudgmental, with a good sense of humor.  I openly adore him.  He tickles me pink.

When it comes to matters of the heart,  I am neither a gypsy, nor a man-izer.  I like the white picket fence, couple with two dogs, "Home, Sweet Home" wall hanging, and camper in the driveway version of domestic bliss. 

Chinese New Year's, 2003

I am a practicing monogamist.  When I'm with my guy, I'm with my guy.  We strive to live happily-ever-after every day and choose not to view life through a glass darkly.

"Life is short; make it sweet" could well be our joint mantra.  I am constantly looking for excuses to celebrate our lives together. 

No one does happy better than we do. We are especially happy at a sushi bar, Disneyland/California Adventure, our backyard, and most happy at our mountain-top sweet idyll named Heaven.  In our element, we can also get downright giddy:  giggling, gabbing and generally glowing. 

Go ahead, those cynics who have come this far:  Gag, if you must.  

 

Dost thou love Life? 
Then do not squander Time;
 for that's the stuff Life is made of.
~ Benjamin Franklin

As much as we each enjoy our own company, we enjoy each other's: talking and laughing; dining in (DH is an adventuresome cook);  taking walks with our dogs; schussing down the slopes at nearby Snow Summit; and biking. Listening to classical and Hawaiian music; reading novels and poetry to each other; quietly talking and sipping wine on the front porch swing; or blissfully enjoying silence's eloquence bring us joy and give us peace of mind.

We were recently described as: "Utterly charming, unassuming people. Down to earth.”  This perception of us pleases me.  

 
 

Cypress Inn, 2001, Carmel, CA

By profession, DH is a scientist-educator, much loved by his students, a younger, warmer, more easy-going version of Mr.Chips. By avocation, he is a gifted, self-deprecating musician, playing jazz, classical, and slack key guitar with disciplined finesse. In a nutshell, he is an ISFJ (A Protector).

Like George Eliot, "I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved."  And DH tells me so, and more importantly shows me so, every day in every way.  I reciprocate in kind.

We're good to each other, and we're good for each other. We are true partners. Every day I catch myself smiling in gratitude. 

To think, I almost backed out of our wedding due to a severe case of cold frostbitten feet. Disbelieving that a happy marriage was possible for me, I almost blew my chances for a fairy-tale marriage. My father and DH used their love for me as a blow torch to get me walking down that aisle. 

Although neither of my parents were romantics in the least, I am.  My teachers, Chick and Ted, the most loving and devoted couple I've ever known, taught me the art of marriage by example. As they never did, I do not take our marriage for granted.  

"For whenever two or more of you
Are gathered in His name
There is love, there is love."

~ Paul Stookey, The Wedding Song / There is Love



I am a parent.  

Although we have no biological kids, by choice, we are proud parents. Family isn't always what you're born with -- sometimes it's the people you find, sometimes it's the people who find you.

When I was four, my mother laid a newborn baby in my arms, saying, "This is your own little dolly."  I believed her entirely, and regarded my younger sister as my own little girl.

DH and I also share significant parts of our hearts and lives with our extended 'ohana (family in Hawaiian): our two extraordinarily wonderful goddaughters, Samara and Alana S, who, at early ages, lost their father to his first and fatal heart attack at age 40, and their uncommonly devoted mother, Sue, and Jonathan, Samara's husband, our sweetheart godson-in-law.

We are so proud of all of them.  A few years ago, Sue moved down here from Northern California.  Samara and Alana have since graduated from universities in San Diego, where Samara met Jonathan. Now everyone lives within driving distance, and we have  altered our retirement plans of moving back to Hawai`i.  As for many parents, home becomes where the kids are -- and these are our hânai kids.
 

Samara, Jonathan, Alana
and Sue
Temecula, CA 2002

 

Together, as a family, we share a storehouse of precious memories of life's sweetest tastes.

We are `ohana

Update for July 2003:  We are expecting!  Expecting to be god-GRANDPARENTS in February, 2004!!!!  

Samara and Jonathan have picked out names for us, grandparents.  Sue will be Tutu Sue -- tutu means "Gramma" in Hawaiian.  DH will be G-pa and I will be G-ma.  Love it, love it, love it.

 

 

Children are apt to live up to 
what you believe of them. 
~Lady Bird Johnson 

 

I am owned by two dogs.

I grew up in a dog-loving family, as did DH.  I am besotted with dogs. I have yet to meet a dog I haven't liked. 

DH and I have been owned by two generations of dogs. We lost our first generation of dogs, Happy and Lucky (aka Hau`oli and Laki), to the infirmities of age.  Years later, we still grieve their passings and miss them more than words can say, while eternally grateful for our all-too-brief time together. 

Three years later, gratitude finally conquered the loss. This summer, I finally opened up the last of my heart's guarded recesses to our second generation of dogs, O and Freddy B. Once more, I am utterly vulnerable. 

I am a sucker for dog-stories. My all-time favorite novel is WATCHERS by Dean Koontz, a storyteller par excellence with a remarkably vivid imagination who conveys profound spiritual insights in compelling prose. 

"Adopt, Don't Shop"  ~ "Spay...Don't Litter"

One of the novel's lead characters is a heartwarming golden retriever named Einstein, who has been genetically engineered for intelligence. Einstein reasons, intuits, thinks, and communicates, while retaining his sweet, joyful, and loving dog spirit.

Not surprisingly I am wholly supportive of dog rescue organizations.  

I love animals, period. The humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer, taught me to have a reverence for all living things. My co-workers goodnaturedly laugh at me whenever I relocate a lost spider in our offices, carefully wrapped in a Kleenex, out into the garden where it belongs. 

I am, however, still working on my reverence for mosquitoes. Strongly allergic to their bites' saliva, I slap at them without compunction. No mercy for those thirsty bloodsuckers.  >> Non-violent solutions
Dolphins are also especially dear to me.  We have been privileged to share their watery spaces with them in the wild in Hawaiian waters -- and only at their invitation.  They have been unfailingly gracious and hospitable. I need no convincing: they are a lot brighter than us humans, and certainly, more joyful. 

Dolphins frolic. They laugh and smile alot. Their message: live joyfully.

Laughter is a noisy smile! 
~Steven Goldberg 



I am, as is DH, private, behind-the-scenes, quiet-and-efficient kind of folks. 

Although we are involved with our community and neighborhood, we enjoy each other's company most.  

Please don't ever drop in on us unannounced. Living in a suburban area for most of the week, we are beleaguered by solicitors. We don't often answer the door bell. If you are expected, however, you are treated like royalty, as we love putting on the dog for family, friends, and occasional perfect strangers.  

It's that ingrained, old-fashioned Hawaiian hospitality.

 

Christmas, 2002, Up in the Mountains

We both detest phone soliciting, almost as much as SPAM on the Internet. We both dislike answering the phone, which is an ongoing major disruption in our lives, and a source of contention and mutual irritation.  

Voice mail seems to have created a truce.  

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
~ Hans Margolius

 

I am a wanderer.

I have called Hawai`i, Indiana, and California HOME during different times of my life. 

One day, DH and I will split our time between the seashore of a Hawaiian island in the winter and the alpine forests of California in the summer.

Moku Ola (Coconut Island), Hilo, Hawai`i, 1998: 
Saying goodbye to Dad... 

I have a yen for traveling and seeing this good Earth. I inherited my wanderlust and curiosity about the world from my grandparents and parents. 

Wanderlust and curiosity has taken me to Europe, Asia, North America, including Mexico, Canada, and most of the states of the US. Italy and the Midwest feel like home to me. New York excites me.  My mother's wanderlust far surpasses my own. She has traveled to almost every corner of the world, to every continent except for Antartica. 

Cruising is my preferred way of traveling. 

An uneasy traveler, but not exactly a white-knuckler, I am not fond of flying in aircraft. The airport long lines and security concerns since 9-11 haven't helped my predilection to stay grounded.

Venice, Italy, 1994

I have yet to travel to Africa, Australia, Antartica and South America. Maybe I will someday, but for the moment, I'm not in a hurry. 

Head-over-heels in love with our two dogs, `Oli (means "Joy" in Hawaiian; "O" for short) and Noa (means "Freedom" in Hawaiian; "Freddy B" is what we call him  -- long story), I am loathe to leave them for extended periods. Arm-chair traveling, especially via the Internet, or jaunts to dog-friendly locales will suffice.

Wherever DH is, I am at home.

6/2003:  Wanderlust has struck again, and Florence, Lake Como and Tuscany are on my mind...   

Wheresoever you go,  go with all your heart.
~Confucius 

 

I am descended from missionaries, warriors, spiritual healers, heathen, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

My spiritual devotion has nothing to do with personal merit, but has much to do with my ancestors' legacy. The spiritual genes of a few have proved dominant. 

I have been described as spiritual. I believe this is so.  I prefer to live my faith, not flaunt it. 

I am areligious in the organized religion sense. I attended a non-denominational Christian boarding high school (Mid-Pacific Institute, Mânoa Valley, Honolulu).  My lack of church-going in my childhood was more than compensated with mandatory chapel attendance twice a week, besides Sunday services.

As an adult, I have never felt the need to denominate and I have felt welcome in every house of worship I've visited. If a label is helpful, then call me "multi-denominational."

As the saying goes, one is closest to God in a garden. I feel that closeness in our backyard, especially when hanging out there with the dog-kids.  The Great Out-of-Doors is the "house" of worship that I "attend" most regularly, and not just on Sunday. 

`Oli & Freddy, May, 2003

"A Kiss of the Sun for Pardon; The Song of the Birds for Mirth
One is Nearer God's Heart in a Garden, Than Anywhere Else on Earth"

I am grateful that my parents left religion and spirituality up to me. In matters of spirit, neither was inclined to mold, poke, push or prod their brood. Neither force-fed beliefs and bounds, nor brain-washed with rigid doctrine, I grew up with an open mind that was religiously unscathed.   

Basically, I was a blank slate with an uncomplicated faith: "God is good. God is great.  Let us thank Him for our food. Amen."

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey.
We are spiritual beings on a human journey."
~ Stephen Covey

 

6/2003: I am Heaven's reject.

"All is ONE. ALL is well."
~ Author Unknown

'It' happened over 25 years ago. Back then, I shared 'It" with just a trusted few, realizing that 'It' was a treasure that I could not keep just for myself. Sharing 'It,' however clumsily, with my inner circle of family and friends allowed its effects to go beyond me.  Listening with their hearts, as only loved ones can, they too derived lasting and comforting effects from it, however vicariously. Some found deep personal meaning in 'It," others, hope and sustenance.  

Heretofore, for various reasons, I have kept 'It'  from the world at large.

The passing years have made it obvious that 'It' was an ultimate gift. The time has arrived to let go of any residual inhibition and share 'It'  with others, with you. Besides, I am drawn to 'peculiar' people or 'different ones', being one myself.  And these days, happy to be one.  Perhaps you are as peculiar or as different as me, which makes us very much alike as "birds of a feather..." 

More self-possessed, confident in what is true for me, and caring less about what others may think, these days, I find that I can now speak of 'It' with less reticence.  The potential scorn, disbelief and skepticism no longer intimidate me.  Nevertheless, I do so with no small amount of tentativeness. It is that Hawaiian trait called hilahila (the Japanese call it hazukashii, which is loosely translated as shyness, reticence or bashfulness) peeking through. 

Now in my crone years, I wish to openly share my "heart story" as others have so generously elsewhere

Benjamin Franklin said: "Everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."  

None of us escape our destinies as mortal beings, including the most enlightened among us, Christ included.  It doesn’t matter if you are rich, powerful, or influential; you will still die. There is no way to escape death's grip, and death's door is something you pass through alone.

In recent years, those facing their own "mortality" or "near-mortality" have been placed smack-dab in my life's path and I have willingly shared 'It' - or aspects of 'It' -- with them.  For some, 'It' has brought about spontaneous healing; for others, timely and welcomed assurance, direction and comfort.

More recently, since January 2003,  two heart friends have come face-to-face with their own mortality. A few months ago, I lost a hula sister and with those she left behind, grieved her passing while facilitating a graceful acceptance with intercessory prayer. Having dealt with these life issues of late, I now find this to be an opportune time to begin to "Pay It Forward." 

“It's doing something for somebody that they can’t do for themselves. 

You just have to do that three times and the people you help each do it three times, then it gets bigger. It goes from three to nine to 27 and on and on and on.”

Read more...


Graphic, courtesy of www.centralsingapore.org

And what is  'It' ?  It is my peek into Heaven.  A glimpse of what is actually Within, Without and All Around Us, if only we have eyes to see.  

The Great Beyond need not be the Great Unknown, and perhaps by openly sharing my experience, I may also share with you the insights, wisdom and courage that I gained from 'It'. Be patient with me, as putting the ineffable into mere words may be my biggest life's challenge. As I said earlier, this narrative will necessarily go through countless revisions in order to best convey 'It' to you in words. One of the advantages of writing Web pages is its dynamism. I will clarify thoughts and add to this ever-evolving narrative as time permits.  Keep checking back...

If you are going through a challenging time and looking for comfort, seeking relief from the fear of the unknown, or simply looking for more meaning, assurance and peace in your life, my experience may perhaps be of help to you.  

It is my hope that it will speak to the depths of your spirit in ways that transcend differences in our spiritual leanings and interpersonal orientations. This sharing may help to deepen your commitment to live according to your higher ideals. God willing, perhaps it may even open you up for your own encounter with the Divine.

Anything is possible.

At age 24, I had what some have called a 'mystical union,' while others have described 'It" as a near-death or out-of-body experience. I simply say: I had these glorious moments of grace -- Amazing Grace -- that said, ‘Look, here’s the Truth.’  For me, it was not an out-of-body experience, but a deep-within experience.  Without going into details: In a span of moments,  I peacefully died and passed through the veil. 

'It' happened spontaneously -- out of the blue and in the twinkling of an eye -- when I least expected it. Note this Web site's blue sky and silver lining backgrounds.  They are consciously chosen for their direct symbolism.

Divine Providence or whatever you wish to call that Higher Power -- God for short, if you wish, or the Creator or Source -- was not done with me. 

At the time, the words to describe the experience eluded me.  'It' simply could not be put into words.  And now, it is no different, but I will do my best. So here comes the disclaimer: this is a mere mortal's inadequate account of using mere mortal words to describe the ineffably Immortal.

While "there" (terms for place and time do not apply), I was bathed and immersed in God's unspeakably beautiful white light, best -- yet hardly -- described as intensely scintillating, glittering, sparkling, glimmering, all-encompassing and panoramic. For fleeting moments, I was simultaneously showered with gentle yet powerful torrents of profound love, unconditional acceptance, complete forgiveness and spiritual healing.







I felt the Divine's warm embrace and a sense of all-pervading PEACE.  I touched (or was touched by) the face of God and filled with a peace beyond comprehension or description. It has been a lasting peace: "A peace that passes understanding.". 

I was granted the Knowing that everything happens with Perfect Timing, including birth, life, "death" and our return Home.  The simplest, most succinct and clearest of the messages was a two-fold message:  All is ONE.  ALL is well. 

No exceptions.

I was transformed in seconds by The Light. That is when my life began.  My previous life -- and who I was before  --  receded like a dream. 

The call to my soul came from Within, clear and distinct. I heeded it by sweetly and completely surrendering not only my soul, but my heart, mind and body.  Soon I found myself returning reluctantly back to Earth back to Hawai`i, after hurtling at breakneck speed through a bright, flashing and colorful tunnel.  Having tasted Heaven, I knew doing so was one of the bravest actions I would ever take.

That brief encounter with the Divine -- Westerners call it a Christ encounter; Easterners, samadhi  -- has proved to be the most pivotal moment/s in my life. It has been said that "Belief is believing in God. Faith is believing God believes in you."  I was to return not as a dejected student, but one brimming with that faith, enthusiasm, and a sense of urgency to be of real service to people.  

You could say that I am Heaven's reject. I was sent -- in the most loving way imaginable -- back to Schoolroom Earth as a remedial student to complete my assignment. 

I Am Here to Serve

I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say
or what to do, because He who
sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes,
knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
~ A Course in Miracles, 24 

'It'  was life-changing. Immediately so. Although it was not clear to me then what exactly had happened, my life immediately took radical 180-degree flips and I was nudged onto an unexpected path. 

Ever since, I know without seeing. Ever since, I have been insulated against the doubts and fears that previously prevented me from marshalling the best efforts to be the best spiritual being I could be.  Ever since, I have possessed 'a cellular commitment to honesty.'  

Ironically, this happened at a time when I was at the peak of my intellectual training in the scientific  method, i.e., "If you can't see it, it doesn't exist."  Formally trained and steeped in the sciences, I fancied myself an agnostic. As a reader of Ayn Rand books, I was open and even sympathetic to her thoughts on atheism. That time of spiritual neglect and departure in faith proved to be short-lived.  

En route to a doctorate in psychology before the experience, I switched mid-stream into training for another profession, one that I had aspired to as a teenager but had been summarily discouraged to pursue by a high school counselor.  I was told: "That's a guy's job. How about teaching or nursing?"  He flipped through the yellow pages of the phone directory, and there was the proof:  only male names under the profession's heading. Back then, I accepted his advice unquestioningly and instead took it to heart by seeking an academic career.

The Light Experience happened when I was busily working as a high school counselor, myself, (ironically) uplifting and encouraging young women to pursue their dreams and stand on higher ground. 

It broke me free, liberating me  from the paralyzing influence of a well-meaning, but misguided counselor caught in the sexist mentality of the 1960s. 

It empowered me to reach for the stars and undertake the biggest challenges and risks of my life. 

"We are the Stars which sing. We sing with our light.
We are the birds of fire, We fly over the sky.
Our light is a voice, Our light is a voice,
We make a road, For the spirit to pass over..." 
~Algonquin 

I heeded the call to serve and help others see not only with  physical eyes, but with spiritual eyes.  A call to help light the way.

Awakened, quickened, and emboldened, I embarked on a sojourn that required an additional eight years of intense and rigorous study with all the confidence and clear-eyed courage of an intrepid explorer. I began confidently walking my life's intended path, as born.  As meant to be.

I knew my Navigator would not steer me wrong.  To almost everyone else except my inner circle, this change in course was hardly sensible. To me, it came as a natural unfolding, a natural chapter in the next part of my time on Earth. Uplifted, human concerns -- money, house, clothes, luxuries, material possessions --  became incidental. 

Financially independent from our families, that journey began when my husband and I were self-supporting graduate students on the stringiest of shoestring budgets. Hardly a shortcut, it had its share of potholes, challenges, deprivations, highway robberies, detours, leaps of faith, and times in the 'wilderness'.

Never abandoning me, however, were three constants that kept me pointed in the right direction: the Peace of my brief visit; an unerring Guidance; and the Knowing that every dark cloud has a silver lining.  

We learned to live on very little.  Treading lightly on this Earth became second nature. Every need -- some in the nick of time -- was provided for and every door -- some stickier than others -- was opened.  

The final leg of the journey was completed in 1983, when I arrived at a practice that was waiting for me and to which I was promptly guided after graduation and licensure.  Three months later, my predecessor turned his life's work -- a 50-year old practice -- over to me.  The Plan was impeccably timed and orchestrated with every detail worked out.

I have been there ever since, serving others. Just as I was guided to serve them, I know that they are guided to me.  It is my ministry.  Ministry is defined as "a person or thing through which something is accomplished."  That something is God's Will. 

The profound love experienced those years ago has proved contagious, touching and expanding every person I have met there. That love has unfailingly promoted actual physical, mental and emotional healing; it has also facilitated the graceful acceptance of what is.  Whenever the insights dim and the Peace wavers, I head for the solitude of the mountains to "Be Still" and once again, my course is righted.

I don't know why 'It' happened to me. Perhaps because I am a seeker, and there is truth to "Seek, and you will find." I have no lock on what is True. I am just giving you a few pointers to help you find your way Home, if that is what you are seeking. This I do know: I am no more special than you. I believe, God willing and by conscious seeking -- by looking Within where God dwells, you too will find what is True for you.

If you are on a spiritual path, perhaps it is not at all a coincidence that you are here.  We two are companions along the way.

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from."
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

6/2003: I am a classic case. 

In the intervening years, such experiences have been much studied, analyzed, and openly discussed. I have since learned that my experience is in a word:  CLASSIC.  

I experienced all of the nine elements outlined by Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D.*, author of LIFE AFTER LIFE: After Life : The Investigation of a Phenomenon--Survival of Bodily Death, who was the first to chronicle the experiences and similarity of the events for an astonishing number of individuals who had "died" and were revived. 

1.  The person knows he/she is dead.

2.  Feelings of peace and painlessness, no longer feeling the body.

3.  An experience where the person floats above the body and can retell events that he should not have been able to see.

4.  A tunnel experience, traveling rapidly through a vortex -- like the worm hole in deep space -- often with light at the end of the tunnel.

5. Seeing people of light, often relatives who have passed on or spirit guide/s.

6. Being greeted by a Higher Being. 

7. Watching one's life for personal evaluation and growth.

8. Feeling a reluctance to return to Earth.

9. Having a personality transformation, usually positive, where they no longer take what they love in their life for granted. Some common aftereffects are "less concern for the material world, a heightened sense of purpose in life, belief in God, joy in life, increased compassion and, most important, intense feelings of unconditional love...[as well as] increased psychic abilities or the sudden development of healing powers." 

* "There are no mistakes, no accidents, no "coincidences."  Synchronistically, in 1972, I was one of six renters who was fortunate enough to live in the only private home on the Indiana University campus.  Decades later,  I learned that Raymond Moody, Jr., who provided the groundbreaking, "non-esoteric" work on the near-death experience was the son of the home's owners, Dr. Raymond Moody, Sr. and his vivacious and flamboyant wife. The room with the "Cowboys and Indians" wall paper was Raymond Moody, Jr.'s childhood bedroom!

"In 1982 the Gallup polling organization discovered that eight million adult Americans have had near death experiences. This is about one person in twenty, which a very large number that cannot be ignored or brushed off lightly.

More recently, in 1997 the U.S. News & World Report survey found that over 15 Million Adult Americans have claimed to have had an NDE." ~Source

Such experiences have become almost matter-of-fact!

"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul.
You have a body."
~ C.S. Lewis

6/2003: I am a prayer.

Not wishing to have that fleeting connection fade or be taken for granted, I choose to live a life of unceasing prayer. Prayer is something that I enforce strict personal discipline upon myself. I was given a second chance and I don't take any of it at all for granted. 

My work lies before me and I know full well from where my Help comes.  Without the Divine, I am nothing. And so I seek sanctuary daily, devoting an hour a day with my full attention on the Living God.  

My reveille is the clarion call: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God". I do most of my inner work by praying in the morning upon awakening.  I reconnect in the late evening.

I pray like a child: on my knees, head bowed, elbows resting on the bedside, hands together.  

Often I pray, snug in bed, where I often drift off to sleep, mid-prayer. Mostly, I pray alone; occasionally with DH, believing in the power of "where two or more are gathered, I am in the midst of you..."

This time around, I aspire to an unhurried life with time to slow down, reflect and listen. Time spent with God is a priority. I intend to win my battle with my archenemy which is: busyness.  

Any appeal of  'having it all and doing it all' diminished years ago, yet there are times that I still struggle to overcome the Martha Syndrome

In a New Testament Biblical character, I found a teacher.  Her name is Martha.  I learned of her within a week of my Light Experience when I was led to the book, COMPANIONS ALONG THE WAY.   

Martha deeply loved Jesus not only as the Christed One, but like a brother. As a buddy of her brother Lazarus, Jesus was as much a brother to her as her own. Her pressing duties and 'shouldisms' kept her in the 'much serving' mode.  Slaving away in the kitchen, Martha (Type A) did not realize that her overdeveloped sense of responsibility was keeping her from spending quality time with Jesus, especially at a time when his time on Earth was quickly dwindling.

For Mary (Type B) who was Martha's baby sister, time spent with Jesus took precedence over work. Mary had her priorities straight, and Jesus concurred.  Time alone with the Father was a top priority for Jesus, just as time alone with Jesus was for Mary. 

"Martha, dear Martha," said Jesus. "You're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing."  In effect He was asking Martha, are you ever going to "...be still and know that I am God...." (Psalm 46:10).

"Only one thing is essential, and Mary has chosen it--it's the main course, and won't be taken from her," said He, meaning what Mary did. She sat at His feet and pondered His Word.  Doing so made her sensitive to the things of the Spirit.

And thus, Martha's life is my lesson. Making lemonade out of lemons,  I have learned from Martha's life and her failure to prioritize. I intend to be a better student this time around.  Having learned from Martha's life, I make the time to have my holy interludes with both Father and Son, undistracted. Seeking spiritual intimacy is a top priority for me this time around. 

As for getting up a daybreak as Jesus did to meet his Father, well, I find that easier said than done.  I am a work in progress, still working on that Martha thing.  

My prayers are rarely long-winded, hardly ever formal. Shall I be completely honest with you?  My prayers can be as simple and sweet as a kiss blown heavenward. Often as informal as talking conversationally with a friend. And occasionally as short as the whisper of a one-word mantra: Maranatha! (Jesus, come!). 

Most often, my prayer is simply an exuberant "Mahalo e Ke Akua! (Thank You, God!)"   

Less is more?  

These days, I do not pray for earthly things.  I have been given more than I ever expected and now I have waaaaay too much "stuff."  I pray for  heavenly things.  I pray intercessionarily (is there such a word?). I pray for guidance, wisdom, patience, acceptance, understanding, and a closer walk with the Creator. And once in awhile, I ask for help, but only after I've done my part to help the matter. Mostly, these days, I find myself praying with gratitude.  And yes, I pray for forgiveness.  My human imperfections demand it.

~ Courtesy, Danny Halborn, 1999
www.tribulation.com

I pray in private; my body is my prayer room. Most often in the bath tub.  And often in front of the computer screen.  God finds me without fail, and I have had my best conversations with Him in this portable temple called the human body.  

"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them," admonished Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men ... 

When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." 

And no, while I may closely listen, I don't hear voices.  Just inner promptings. To "hear" them, I've learned to "Be Still and Know..." I am merely a student who has submitted to conscientious study in this "foreign" place. This Schoolroom Earth. Next time, God willing, I will earn a full graduation back into the Heavenly Realm, which is truly Home.

>> These are my favorite prayers.

"I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life
is best for everyone,
best for both the body and the mind."

~ Albert Einstein

 

 

5/2003: I am a kinswoman.

I understand what the ancients mean when they say: "We are One,"  although we may each have different missions and paths.

I know that I am no better than the lowliest and no less than the loftiest of us here. I do not proselytize to others. What's my business and faith are my own to deal with, as your business and faith are yours to do the same.

I am, however, a proselytizer to myself, as spirituality requires, at least for me, ongoing and constant upkeep. I have a high-maintenance personal relationship with Jesus, who is my primary role model, compassionate friend and trustworthy Big Brother who knows me completely. He is my refuge when I am feeling "poor in heart." 

I also consider The Buddha, The Dalai Lama, The Saints (especially St. Michael whose day, Michaelmas, is my birthday, September 29), and other spiritual luminaries as wiser and older than me, who like Jesus, are much further along the path, waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

Because of this ecumenical mindset, I strive to respect the faith of others, feel a kinship with all people, and look for reflections of God's face in every face. 

I aspire to be like Mother Teresa, who regarded everyone as her brother or sister.  I'm assiduously working on this kind of equanimity and tolerance. I've had been provided many teachers who have come into my life to teach me my remaining lessons. 

More on Mother Teresa...

I am inspired by Terry Anderson, the Associated Press chief correspondent, who was held hostage for 2,454 days -- tormented and tortured for almost seven years -- in Lebanon. 

When asked if he hated his abductors,  Terry said his faith sustained him  through his ordeal and his faith requires him to forgive them.  He walks the talk.   

I have gleaned much wisdom from his tenacity, courage, faith, and yes, his trials and tribulations.  >> Listen to Terry Anderson's reading of "Wait for Me"...

The longer I live this life, the more I am humbled. Life is beautifully awesome and filled with the discovery of Amazing Grace. My teachers are everywhere, around every corner, every day!  

"Those who go to Earth are heroes and heroines,
because you are doing something that no other
spiritual beings have the courage to do.
You have gone to Earth to co-create with God.

"You are the difference that God makes"
And that difference is
love."
~ Dannion Brinkley

I am a lover of peace.

I have a longing for Peace.  I shrink from violence, contention, and tensions. I avoid violent movies or TV shows. I rarely watch the six o' clock bad news. Before I turn in, I do not allow the infiltration of the negativity of the late-night news into my psyche.

I realize that fulfilling my mission on Earth requires a commitment to peace, to love. Knowing that Peace begins with me, just as the song says, I proactively choose peace over gossip, anger, frustration, getting even, being right or holding a grudge.  I prefer to excuse myself from situations that embarrass, demean, or diminish another. 

=  Peace

"Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me."

"Love in its myriad forms is a portal that leads to a world of peace, happiness and ecstasy. The more we are able to love ourselves and others, the more others can love us. The more we are loved, the easier it is for us to love others." ~Brent N. Hunter

 



6/2003: I am an examiner.

A while ago, I did a bit of self-examining by taking an online test (ANSIR) that exposed me to me, and now I expose me to anyone who wishes to read up on the REAL me: HEALER / HEALER / PHILOSOPHER. Every line rang eerily true. The profile descriptions are increasingly accurate.

HEALER:

- Avid readers, they prefer non-fiction and biographies to fiction.
- They are keenly sensitive to noise and uncomfortable in messy environments.
-  They have a need for privacy.
-  Their personal and professional ethics supersede those of man and land.
-  For them there are no coincidences in life. Everything happens for a reason.
- When they solve problems, they look at its effect and impact on the system as a whole.
- They have a natural talent for any field or endeavour where healing is involved. 

PHILOSOPHER:

 - Generally choose highly-specialized fields and contract out services.
 - Philosophers have an uncanny ability for being on-the-spot when leading edges are sharpened or discoveries unveiled.
 - Characteristically, they suffer an allergy to authority and uniforms, regardless of cut, color or cloth. Asking tough questions, such as “why?” and “why not?” reduces their chances of succeeding hierarchically.
 - Philosophers tend to be the most intelligent, most hard working, and most likely to refute or refuse any policy not in sync with their own. 
-  Wealth or material gain does not motivate them; affording choice does.
 - Philosophers demand autonomy. They tend to captain their own ships and are renowned workaholics. They may only do what they like, but they like doing it a lot, apparently.

If you're not afraid of learning exactly who you are, consider taking the ANSIR test yourself. 

Healing

The word healing has different connotations depending on who is talking. To medical professionals it seems to be that when one is diseased there are a number of symptoms of that disease. And when the symptoms have stopped then one is healed. To other sorts of practitioners there is instead seen to be a journey to wholeness. That the natural and true state of being is complete wholeness with the fullness of who you truly are. 

Healing, then, is the return to more wholeness. 

 

The unexamined life is not worth living.
~Socrates


 

6/2003: I am a lover of purple. 

I have a passion for purple, loving it since childhood.  My favorite soda? Grape Soda.  My favorite crayons? Royal purple, violet, vivid violet, lavender, and wisteria.  My favorite vegetable?  Eggplant.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I love this bear in purple.  And these just tickle me, although I'm more than content to see them on some one else's hands.

The Warning by Jenny Joseph is my future:  

>>  The Warning

6/2003: I am a dancer.

My dancing talent is mediocre; my dancing skills, superficial. I am one of those poor souls who is "rhythmically challenged." I shall never be affectionately nicknamed "Twinkle Toes." "Hemahema" (Clumsy) is more apt. My love, nonetheless, for dancing runs deep. 

I owe that love to my father who infused me with his passion for dancing. As far back as I can remember, I've ballroom danced, first on my father's feet, then as his dance partner.  The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page was our favorite dance tune. Whenever I hear it, I see us dancing in our parlor. The song always goes straight to my heart and my face gets leaky.

"Just as he was a passionate reader, how Dad loved to dance.  One of my fondest childhood memories is is standing on his feet, as he taught me to waltz: 

"ONE-two-three.
ONE-two-three.
ONE-two-three." 

...After our trip, Dad kept dancing as  long as he could. Whenever I'd fly home, he'd greet me with a huge smile and a dance. As his body declined, he danced with a cane, then with a walker, then with our hands, then with our eyes, and finally, we danced in our minds' eyes." ~AU, Letter to Oprah, Tuesdays with Morrie 

Speaking of fathers, here's a timely prayer for Luther Vandross in the form of his 2003 bittersweet song,  Dance with My Father

"...he would carry me, and I knew for sure that I was loved. If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him.  I'd play a song that would never, never end..."

I was six when I took my first hula lessons, and I've written my favorite reminiscence of that time here.  I danced -- hula and modern -- my way through the years that followed until I went off to college.

Over the years, DH and I have taken ballroom dance classes here, there and everywhere.  It is our favorite thing to do when we are cruising. Every at-sea day found us on the dance floor. We have waltzed past the white cliffs of Dover, cha-cha'd through the Straits of Gibraltar, fox-trotted around the boot of Italy, and pitched and rolled in the French waters called the Bay of Biscay.

It was not until I became an official senior citizen at age 50, when I resumed my hula dancing.  These days, I surround myself with friends who share my joy in dancing.  We call ourselves: The Hula Maidens.  <snort!>

The Hula Maidens:  
Seated L-R: AU and Gylene
Standing: Jeanette, Beulah, Flo and Hedy

On with the dance!  
Let joy be unconfined.  
~Lord Byron


6/2003: I am a lover of Hawaiian music.

Writing about the power of Hawaiian words here, I find the meanings of Hawaiian lyrics provocative and intriguing. 

As for favorites, I am caught between three lovers that caress my ears with their beauty and spirit:  the music of DH's band, Keali`i Reichel and Israel Kamakawiwo`ole.  

The Hawaiian Band:
L-R: Mike, Hank, Pete, Larry, Harry, DH, and Pas 

As I wrote this book, the singular and beautiful music of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole was always playing. I hope that the reader finds pleasure in my story equal to the joy and consolation that I found in the voice, the spirit, and the heart of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole." 
~ Dean Koontz, "From The Corner Of His Eye"

 

Updated 6/2003: I am a writer.

A writer is one who writes. I write, therefore I am a writer. 

There, I said it. It took the better part of my lifetime to admit and accept who I am. My childhood wish of  "Maybe one day, like Author Unknown, I'll be a writer too."   It was a prescient thought after all.  

Why do I write?  It certainly is not for lack of anything else to do.  

My life is ridiculously overcomitted. Financial compensation or making literary splashes command little attention or prestige for me. My motives for writing are not rational but intuitive and emotional. I write because I want -- and indeed need -- to do it, as I find that I am happiest and invigorated when I write -- unrushed, unpressured and uncensored -- for fun, self-exploration, -expression and clarity. 

Until recently, I indulged my penchant for writing with journal articles on professional topics that caught my fancy. Pretty dry stuff, but of genuine interest to me and just a few.  I am presently writing a book about my profession.  I have much to say about it and I have found my voice: sotto voce.  

Loving to read letters as well as writing them, I particularly enjoy keeping a loose, undemanding correspondence via e-mail or the US Postal Service with those few -- and dear -- to me.

As a child, writing poetry appealed to me, allowing me to experience the words not intellectually but physically, emotionally, and indeed unconsciously. 

As an adult, I continue to write poetry, but it is mainly a solitary, personal endeavor. I often take a single poem through a hundred drafts over several years.  Sounds like work? Yes.  Worth the time and effort?  Yes. Robert Frost once called poetry the highest kind of enterprise, "the self-appointed task," where "hard labor comes from one’s own desire and internal pressure for perfection."

For most of my life, I have been a studious note-taker, documenting my life with hurriedly jotted dribs and drabs, often on scraps of paper . 

My personal writing has evolved into more orderly handwritten journals, these days, more in the free flow tradition of The Artist's Way.  

My writing is increasingly focused on inner psychological reality, as well as the preservation of memories of loved ones, small town living, family and spirituality.   

Sometimes, when I manage to break through my "privacy cocoon,"  I add entries to this erratic online journal just as I am now.  The blank screen of my Sony Vaio laptop invites me to fill it with streaming thoughts and the 'Net is big enough to hold it all. This form of writing invites new subjects and I find myself writing about experiences that I had never written about before. 

I love it that I am Author Unknown.  Besides its sentimental value to me, this pen name provides a welcome sense of anonymity, making all of this endeavor less weird and paradoxical. Ultimately, it allows me to keep this "diary of a soul." For certain, this journal is one of those workings in mysterious ways... 

Updated 2003:  I love to create Web sites that recognize and acknowledge "Earth angels."  A recent site was inspired by our visit to a "secret" garden, off the beaten track: The Daffodil Garden.  Even more recently, a visit to a Maui Lavender garden inspired yet another Web site creation.

Through the written word and the electronic medium, I will make the time to volunteer my time, energy, and support those who are creating goodness on Earth, fellow companions along the way.

"Writing is my refuge. It's where I go.
It's where I find that integrity I have."
~ Charles B. Johnson

As I string these last words together, I am most appreciative of my namesake, Author Unknown.. Today, on this peaceful September morn, I join the collective group of Authors Unknown. To anyone who might be interested, I intend to share the greatest gift that I've ever been given.  A life.  

On my way Home, I share this gift with you, a fellow Earth student, before I pass into the other dimension. But only if you wish to partake. I have an overweening and insatiable need to be of service -- to be a help and not a hindrance. It is my hope that you will find something here that will help you.

I'm doing my best to be a good scout in this wilderness called life, making each place I inhabit or visit a better or cleaner place. Yes, even public bathrooms.

I hope the Web is a better place with these thoughts that are now lovingly placed here in front of your eyes.

Life is like a voyage that is homeward bound.
~Herman Melville 

 


 

May your life be filled with gifts, remembering that the best ones are those shared with others,
Author Unknown

P.S. If you would like to share a portion of yourself  with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.

  "The only gift is a portion of thyself."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
.
AU © 2001-2003

 

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