Thursday, June 30, 2016

  I love the advice of poets and artists, the way they look into life in order to squeeze out the sweet nectar of living. Here is an example by Benson on how to look around as one walks along the way.

  "The things to look out for are little accidents of light and color, little effects of chance grouping, the transfiguration of some well known and even commonplace object, such as is produced by the sudden burst into greenness of the trees that peep over some suburban garden wall, or by sunlight falling, by a happy accident, on pool or flower. The curve of a wood seen a hundred times before, the gentle line of a fallow, the still sunset glow -- these will give ever new delights, and delights that grow with observation and intuition."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

  When I read the passage below about a man with a curious mind, I was reminded of the scripture in the Bible that says, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18

  "The pure faint lines of the open fields, that he saw from his window on the far horizon, rising so peacefully with the hedgerow elms, what did they stand for?

He determined at all events, he would go about the world as a patient learner, grasping at any hint that was offered him, whether it came by the waving of grasses on the waste, by the droop of flower-laden boughs over a wall, from the strange horned insect that crawled in the dust of the highway, or from the soft gaze of loving eyes, flashing a message into the depths of his soul." Arthur C. Benson

Monday, June 20, 2016

"A pious son, whose father had died while he was away, upon returning home to his weeping friends and family, said, "Mother, we have a new claim on God today. You my dear mother, have a claim on him for a husband, and my sisters, brother and myself, have a claim on Him for a father." 
 Thank God for His precious promises, they meet the needs of all His children. He has been my closest friend and father for 45 years now. He promises to be Father, friend, brother, nursing mother and husband to all his children. Praise Him!

The longer I work with people that struggle with life, the more clearly it becomes that early childhood is where most of the work of parenting is done. The following quote is a significant part.

Self soothing -- Children who have suffered childhood trauma can be without the inner function of self-soothing, that is they cannot calm or comfort themselves by calling up a mental image of a secure relationship with a parent or caretaker. One of the skills a young child must learn is to comfort himself when he is upset. One way he learns to do this is by being soothed by his parents or caregivers. Touch and holding are two ways caregiver’s comfort children. Gradually the child learns ways to calm himself. These activities are critical for the healthy development of the young child.
When a child has suffered chronic complex trauma, they may have difficulty regulating emotions and may have symptoms like persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger or passive aggressive anger.

Friday, June 17, 2016

  I just love this picture! It captures for me the joy and gratification of the arts. Being swept away as one imagines a subject to paint or an idea to write. 

"I walk in the soft twilight, that is infinitely tender, soothing and sweet, and find the daffodil taking on his new life; and there rises in my heart an uplifted yearning, not so much for the good days that are dead, but that I may somehow come to possess the peace that underlies the memory of them all - not handle it for a moment and lay it down, but possess it or be possessed by it for ever. And so it is with a heightened relish for the serener simplicities of life, that I return to my quiet rooms, my old trees, my carelessly ordered garden, as a sailor floats into the calm waters of the well-known haven out of the plunge and surf of the sea, and tossing on the waves of the world thus gives me the tonic sense of contrast to my peaceful life which it would otherwise lack. A.C. Benson.

  I think this quote captures for me the thoughts and feelings I often have while walking through my garden, I didn't want to forget it so I'm including it here. 

  While waiting to open the mission and begin to feed the homeless, we noticed a man outside the door in a most unusual outfit; he was wearing nothing, but what I would call, a floral G-sting with his cheeks greeting all passers by. One of the staff grabbed a shirt and a towel and told him he would need to cover up to come in and get served. When we opened the doors, he had managed to find a summer dress of sorts, and as he spoke I could hear that he was mentally challenged and a sadder more heart wrenching fella I can't remember seeing. The clothing staff fitted him with some decent clothes and he ate and was on his way. I suppose about ten percent of the homeless people I see are of diminished mental capacity, and one can only wonder how they exist on the harsh streets of Portland. Midway through serving, on the sidewalk outside, two men launched into a vicious fist-fight. It's been a long time since I've witnessed two adult men violently throwing well-guided punches and the merciless thud it makes on a face. Two of our staff went out to try and stop it but they had to be very cautious because these were not schoolboys you could grab by the nap of the neck and break apart, this was fast and hard! Finally, with lots of shouting, they came to a truce of sorts.

  I saw two men I knew who were from Teen Challenge when I worked there; one greeted me enthusiastically and we hugged and talked about his struggles; the other lowered his head under the brim of his hat in hope that I wouldn't recognize him; I busied myself until he left and said a little prayer under my breath.