If two or more are gathered...

Wednesday, January 2, 2002
Suburbia, California 

Day after greetings to my 'ohana,

The fluttering of white paper strips tied to winter-bare trees.  A curious, yet beautiful sight, creating a vivid, lasting memory of visiting a Tokyo shrine on New Year's Day, 1974. A sight so memorable, it came to mind when I was thinking up a group activity for the New Year's Party

Three concepts converged: 

  • the strips of white paper tied to bare branches; 

  • the accelerated, exponential power of group prayer;  "If two or more are gathered...";

  • and the Lourdes phenomenon -- the most frequently fulfilled prayers were by those who accompanied the ailing on their pilgrimage to the healing waters of Lourdes in France, as well as those who had prayed for others! 

Our New Year's Day guests were given these instructions:  "On this strip of paper, write down 3 accomplishments that you would like to have completed by this time, 2003. Fold this lengthwise and tie it to the wishing tree with your name on the outside."

Each guest was assigned a partner. Together, each pair shared (declared) their hoped-for accomplishments with one another, selecting in the interest of time, their most desired accomplishment to share with the group. 

We then formed a circle. One at a time, each declared their most desired accomplishment to the group. Holding hands, we united the group with a  prayer asking for the fulfillment of the desired accomplishments.  A squeeze of joined hands was passed around the circle.  When it reached the originator, hands -- still held together -- were raised up to symbolically raise the prayers upward.  

"And so be it."

The group was encouraged to keep sending positive thoughts and actual encouragements to each other during the year. These were the results with their most desired accomplishment in bold:

Uncle Clif:  Finish front garden.  Finish garden wall.  Finish south retaining wall.

Aunty Blanche:  Complete another healthy, happy, and fun school and personal year. Stay in a size 10 (or smaller) pant size.   Create a cactus garden arean and butterfly/bird flower garden.

Iain:  Get an income source (a job, lottery, etc.). Publish a book. Complete GT3.

Cassie:  Finish Ph.D dissertation.  Learn violin jigs.  Go to India, Thailand & Africa.

Orin:  Get a new job. Get a new  car. Get back into a workout schedule.

Ethan: Do experiments to be proud of.  Perform a raag on the bansuri.  Lead 5.10s at the gunks.

Aunty Faith:  Clear the dining room table.  Get a new car.  LeRoy will have the roof fixed.

Aunty Bobbie:  Be more organized.  Clean and throw away stuffs in bedroom.  Sit and enjoy and relax more often.

Kent: Have family time -- take trips.  Have a job I enjoy.    Fix house / take Hawai`i trip.

Loreen:  Survive and do well the next year of hygiene school.  Lose at least 10 lbs. Finish Kyle's photo album.

Kyle:  Toilet learned.  Use the potty :).  Speaking well, leg straightened out, no more bottles!   :) Continue to be a happy baby.  :)

Kisa:  Get yard cleared and in order. Decide on house remodeling for floors/ceiling.  Exercise more.

Brian:  Married before 40. No more wars.  Early retirement.

Uncle T:  Complete house plans.  Greater success in investing. Fix sore shoulder.

Aunty D:  Get physically fit.  Write every day.  Stay in touch with family.

Aunty Pat:  Complete remission.  Observe peace on Earth.  Travel more.

Aunty Sue:  To be gainfully employed.  To prioritize my time and energies.  Lose weight and get in shape.

Samara:  Quit current job with dignity and honor, while getting a more exciting and creative job. To be a better wife to Jonathan -- someone who is more understanding at times.  To take time to find out what interests me -- rather than what will make my life easier.

Jonathan:  Work promotion. A new house. Healthy year for the family.

Uncle Kenneth:  Improve my golf game.  Complete all home improvements.  Buy a new house.

Aunty Connie:  Join the church choir.  Finish making curtains for my home.  Clean out and organize old files.

Tiffany:  Make a 4.0 GPA.  Score 16 points in a basketball game.  Save $500.

Uncle Wally:  Lose weight.  Back here next year.  Everybody have a very good year.

Aunty Liz:  Be good about completing my aerobics classes, and try to stay fit.  Get work done around the house.  Hope to win a nice jackpot at Vegas!

Dawn:  Stay in school after I graduate.  Run Honolulu marathon in 3:30 or less.  Work (Volunteer) at the medical examiner's office.

Now that these are posted, we will refold them.  The tree will serve as a focal point for our prayers for you.  We will be at least two who are gathered in prayer, and we invite you to join us, whenever you feel so inclined.

Alana, Uncle Larry, Lauren, LeRoy, Eddie, Aileen, Steve, Shannon, and Matt, it's never too late to add your desired accomplishments to the tree and list.  One of the advantages of the Internet, is that this list is revisable.  E-mail me and I'll add them by proxy to the list and to the tree.  


"Life is a Gift."

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
September Morn 2002