Turning the Wheel

ferriswheel

Upon completion comes fulfillment.

With fulfillment comes liberation.

Liberation allows you to go on.

Even death is not a true ending.

Life is infinite continuation.

Always finish what you start. That alone is discipline and wisdom enough. If you follow that rule, then you will be superior to most people.

When you come to the end of a cycle, a new one will begin. You might say that completion actually begins somewhere in the middle  of a cycle and that new beginnings are engendered out of previous actions.

Completing a cycle means fulfillment. It means that you have achieved self-knowledge, discipline, and a new way of understanding yourself and the world around you. You cannot stop there, of course. New horizons are always there. But you can reach out for those new vistas with fresh assurance and wisdom.

With each turn of the wheel you go further. With each turn of the wheel you free yourself from the mire of ignorance. With each turn of the wheel comes continuation.

Turn the wheel of your life. Make complete revolutions. Celebrate every turning. And persevere with joy.

-Deng Ming-Dao-

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

*photo by Kyle Telechan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityeyes/3647616581/in/photostream/

Begging for Change from a Smartphone – by Simona Asinovski

Kindness Blog

homeless girl Judging a homeless person’s story in San Francisco

“Hey, do you want an orange?” I ask.

She’s sitting on a street corner with a backpack.

Her face is marked up with whiskered scars of cosmetic or self mutilation origin. Maybe a bit of both. She’s pretty. One of the compartments on her bag is unzipped, and I see a bottle of sparkling nail polish.

She’s looks up from her phone. “Yes, please. Thank you”.

A straight-laced women passes by. Grey suit, hair up in a tight pony tail.

“She’s begging for change while she’s tweeting from her smartphone” she says, loudly.

With as much scorn and contempt as she could bear to part with.

As the woman walks away, the girl blurts out, quietly, “I just left my abuser.”

I pause. “I’m sorry that woman said that to you,” I say as I hand her an orange.

I watched her…

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Terra Word Art

The clouds jutted upward like mountains from the flatland rolling at the horizon in shades of lavender, smokey-blue, and silver- white. Birches huddled together like naked ladies in the wind.

Gaea adorned herself in a soft-blue gown of billowing chiffon for the dance of new beginnings. Gifting mortals who have the power to look deeply with a glimpse of clarity.

The sun kissed her face of many colours. Nourishing her wounds and scars as well as her abundant bounty.

It is in her nature to be fiercely harsh and even destructive, yet she is also known to shield and nurture all of life. Thus, she weaves magic under hard, crusted furrows touched by winter’s frosty tears.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

Gently and Sacredly

Hong Kong, China, 1998, final print_perugia

On the way to work earlier this week riding the train to the 2nd district of Vienna, an elderly man caught my attention. He wore an attire of black dress pants, a starched white, shirt with a blue-stripped tie and a tweed jacket as he sat by the window. The jacket hung loosely over his shoulders which he adjusted every once in awhile with trembling hands. There was a black winter coat neatly piled beside him on the train seat. A faraway look shone in his eyes through his metal-rimmed glasses.  He glanced in my direction when I entered the train, but looked straight through me.

In both hands he held some wooden beads, while his lips moved silently. The crease between his eyebrows grew deeper as he held the beads with one hand and with the other moved a finger methodically in circular motion over one bead at a time. And then onto the surface of his pointy finger of the opposite hand. Eventually, he put the beads away in the inner pocket of his jacket.

Momentarily he wrung his hands together and then adjusted his jacket once more. He pressed his lips together and took a long, deep breath. Afterwards, lightly placing his hands together at the fingertips holding them in a thoughtful pose.

Right before his stop he stood up and put his arms into his jacket and then donned his elegant winter coat.

It so happened that we were getting off at the same time. He was slightly confused as he stepped onto the platform. He needed a moment or two to orientate himself before disappearing into the shuffle.

It struck me how many people have a heart full of so many different things that we can’t possibly ever know.  We face each day in our fragility and try our best to get through life. Let’s keep our hearts open even in the midst of our vulnerabilities and be compassionate. First to ourselves and then to others. In patience, hold your essence gently and sacredly.

Be blessed this Christmas Day.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*photo by Steve McCurry, http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/faith-and-prayer

Railway Sky

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“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

Celebrate Winter’s Coming

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Dance of purity

Falling softly from on high

Winter shakes her lace

© S. Islas-Madlo 2014

*illustration by Richard Scarry

Vulnerability

raw

Dense circumstances 

Stockpile around a soul

Raw, Naked and Bare

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*photo by Dilayla Romeo David

http://artistaday.com/?p=22987#

Gliding on Moonlight

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A luminous sphere

Glides through the depths of darkness

Is that you, my Soul?

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

The Return of Dignity

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Layers with raw edges

Blending into dusky horizons

Of velvet integrity.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

“If we’re wrapping ourselves up to conceal any vulnerability, whatever happens to us has to go through all those extra layers. Sometimes love doesn’t even reach where we truly live.”
― Alexandra Katehakis

“To write poetry, like sincere poetry, it is like performing heart surgery on yourself without anesthesia…in public…You are peeling back layers. You are dissecting yourself…You do not know what they [the audience] is going to do when you reach into yourself and rip out your organs to be displayed”
― Amir Sulaiman

“Layer by layer art strips life bare.”

― Robert Musil

Be Relentless

Drops

Water cleanses,

Gathers in the earth.

Tender. Invasive. Subtle.

Emerges a shining river.

When small, it is weak.

When great, it tumbles mountains.

Rendering great cliffs

Sand.

drops

Classic wisdom says there is nothing weaker than water, yet when united, it can become a titanic force. Like a tidal wave. Or a river that cuts through gorges. This is called yielding overcoming the hard.

Let’s look at it another way. Water does not overcome because it yields. It overcomes because it is relentless. It perseveres and does not give up. It is constant. Rock can block water. Rock can even hold water in a lake for thousands of years. Why can’t the yielding overcome the hard then? Because it cannot move. It cannot work its magic of being relentless.

Just as water must be able to express its true nature in a relentless way, so too must we simultaneously and relentlessly express our true natures if we are to be successful in life. Otherwise, we will find ourselves hemmed in by the hard walls of reality, and we will never be able to break through.

But how we we acquire such perseverance? We start small. As drops.

~Deng Ming-Dao~

*photo from: http://adropofpleasure.tumblr.com/post/19445857748/there-are-no-facts-only