Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SPRING! / Great Drumming Video / Obama Calls the Astronauts

Several things I really enjoyed have come to me in the last few days….
Here, for your enjoyment, I offer them.
Happy Praying Mantis – looks like he’s celebrating SPRING!
This is a video of a marching/performing drum corps doing their thing – with great precision and a lot of fun! I had a great big smile on my face watching them!
And finally, here are links to videos (three parts) of President Obama’s call to the astronauts on the space station, including questions from kids and a couple of members of Congress who were there with him as he spoke to the astronauts. The view is of the astronauts, all arranged together in a group as if they were sitting on bleachers, but they are sort of bobbing up and down, because they are being held in place by anchoring their toes. If they let go, they would float away. Every now and then a stray object floats by. The woman astronaut’s hair is a big halo around her head, fanning out in all directions. I found it quite interesting and ended up watching all three parts!
Part One:
"The Universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." ~Eden Phillpotts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Give an Hour to the Earth With the Flick of Your Thumb 3/28/2009

Yearning for something easy to do for the planet? How about flipping a switch? Participate in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, 2009 and join Polar Bears International and the World Wildlife Fund -- and, of course, all of us at the Center for Biological Diversity -- in making a worldwide statement by turning your lights out from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, wherever you live on Earth. By staying in the dark for a single hour, you'll be joining millions in enlightening world leaders on what needs to be done to stop climate change now.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, and this year every ferry in the city's harbor will sound its horn at exactly 8:30 p.m. to announce the beginning of Earth Hour Down Under. More than 1,000 cities and towns across 80 countries have committed to participating in Earth Hour. This is a great chance for all us global citizens to speak out on climate change with one powerful voice through one simple act.

Go to the
Earth Hour Web site to learn how you can sign up, tell a friend, and lead your own Earth Hour event.

From the newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity –


"Where you stand is sacred ground. Every day is the Sabbath." ~Algonquin Indian philosophy

"To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - brothers who know now they are truly brothers." ~Archibald Mc Leish

"The universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson. The mountain teaches stability and grandeur; the ocean immensity and change. Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes-every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man." ~Orison Swett Marden

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eat the View? YES!

At the same time many people are reacting to alarming YouTube videos and emails circulating on the internet that claimed a new food safety bill (HR 875) introduced in Congress would make "organic farming illegal," we find this good news:

"Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden"

On Friday, March 20th, 2009, 23 third graders will join First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of the White House to break ground on an 1100 square foot kitchen garden that will provide food for family dinners and formal dinners.

According to the New York Times:The Obamas’ garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables grown from organic seedlings started at the executive mansion’s greenhouses.

And better still:

Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said laughing.

Ok, you can stop pinching yourself: you aren't dreaming this and an off batch of sauerkraut hasn't caused a rare case of lacto-fermentation-hallucination.



Quite a paradox, hmmmm?

Read more about HR 875, and discuss:
Eat the View campaign website:

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other." ~Douglas Everett

"The Wright brothers didn’t contemplate the staying on the ground of things. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t contemplate the non-communication of things. Thomas Edison didn’t contemplate the darkness of things. In order to float an idea into your reality, you must be willing to do a somersault into the unconceivable and land on your feet, contemplating what you want instead of what you don’t have." ~Wayne Dyer

"Be more visionaries and less what-isionaries." ~Abraham

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dancing in the Liverpool St. Subway Station - London

This video is great fun! Talk about stopping traffic…. This shows what happened during the filming of a commercial for T-Mobile at the Liverpool Street Subway Station, London. Only the dancers knew what was happening. The general public didn’t have a clue what was about to unfold. The spontaneous reactions of the subway customers are great!

Thank you, Bella, for sending this one to me!

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” ~Samuel Becket

Sunday, March 15, 2009

On the Death of the Beloved

I am very grateful and honored by all the responses to my posts about the experiences we have had with the death of Isis, our cat. You have touched my heart!

One of the things that was shared with us was the following poem, sent by our friend, Joyful. I want to share it with all of you, since we have all grieved for someone we love, human or animal - or both. Thank you, Joyful One, for sending this:

On the Death of the Beloved

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or might or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

~John O’Donohue

Shakura Cathryn
(Grateful for all connected with this event)
"One day I will leave this world and Dream myself to Reality" ~Crazy Horse 1874

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Energetic Blessings

After our cat Isis left her body, about 4:30 pm Friday the 13th(!), I had a very loving communication from and with her.

I feel energy, instead of seeing visions, so when I get guidance or messages from unseen ones, it usually comes in the form of energy. I was sitting with her energy, and crying, and I felt a swirl of energy come to me. First it touched my heart, and then moved from my heart up and around my face, in the shape of a heart. And then it moved to the palms of my hands, where it circled a few times. This energy then moved over my head and down my back “petting” me as I often petted her. Then it moved to my throat and chin, and to the top of my head, also as I had often scratched and petted Isis. Then it moved down the front of my body and petted my belly.

Then it swooped over to where her body was lying nearby on a blanket and indicated that she wanted me to pick up her body and put it in a bed that I had made for her yesterday, using a desk drawer and a beautiful shawl that I got from my friend Gena. Isis didn’t want to be in that bed yesterday – it was really a little bit too small for her live body. But today I really understood that she wanted to honor the effort I had made to create that bed for her.

And then when I had her body in the bed, the energy swooped toward the door, and I understood that she wanted me to take her body outside. So I took her out onto the porch on the side of the house, and set the bed down. And I sat in the chair next to her. Right away, our other cat, Paulina, came up and looked at her, and smelled her, and walked away. And then I knew that she had wanted her body taken outside so she could let Paulina see her body, and know that she had died.

And then she wanted me to bring her body back inside to wait for Tim to get home.


MoonSinger Essentials
“If the beasts were gone, we would die of a great loneliness of spirit.” ~Chief Seattle

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Friend

Today (3/12/2009) our kitty Isis is dying – well, she may make it to tomorrow, but she is very close.

She is very weak – beautiful fur that always reminded me of the night sky, stretched over a skeleton with hardly any flesh left. She still tries to walk a bit, but she lurches around like a drunken sailor. She joined me in the bathroom today, while I was bathing, as she likes to do. But when she tried to put her paw in the water to play with the water/drink the water, she nearly fell in. She didn’t have strength to support her reaching down. I had to catch her. It seems almost like she WANTED to fall in…. to let go into an entirely new experience. She has had a fascination with water, while still avoiding it for the most part, like most cats. But I couldn’t stand the idea of her drowning in the bathtub. I had to tell her I couldn’t handle that manner her of leaving her body. So she is waiting for it to give out.

Please hold her in light. If you know a song for the dying, please sing it. If you are a Sufi or Dances of Universal Peace person, you may know the Ya Salaam (O, Peace) chant. So please sing to the spirit of Isis, or say a prayer, or send healing energies to ease her transition. Isis has been our sweet companion for almost 15 years. She is much loved.

I have been singing and playing a recording of a Buddhist chant – it is from (See the lower right side of the homepage to listen or download the chant.) You can find out more about Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and the Buddhist centers and activities she is involved with at the same website. I received this recording – a much longer version – one day while visiting the Buddhist Stupa in Sedona. One of the nuns was walking around giving CD’s to all the visitors. The chant is the Prayer to be Reborn in Dewachen - a traditional prayer offered as a gift. It is part of a music project Jetsunma is working on, a CD of songs and prayers to be played for the dying, both human and animal. It is a lullaby of compassion for those passing from this life. Share it far and wide.

MoonSinger Essentials
Prayer for the Animal Kingdom
"We are travelers in a cosmic journey - star dust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient. Buddha once said "This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky." We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, light heartedness and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile." ~Deepak Chopra

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chris Jordan: Picturing Excess / Intolerable Beauty

Depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the US every hour. (How many trees is that??)

Today's synchronicity was about waste. First, I received an e-mail with a link to a video about plastics: This evening we watched a program on the Planet Green network about how scientists all over the world are working on new technologies to reuse, or detoxify, or produce new sources of energy from all the things we waste. It was pretty hopeful! (And BTW, if you are not watching the Planet Green network, I suggest checking it out. They have some good ecology programming.)

And I received an e-mail with a reminder of the work of Chris Jordan, a photographic artist who pictures for us the truth of our wasteful consumerism. He says: "The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity." Visit his website at to see many amazing pictures. They take awhile to load. Because of the vast detail involved in them, they must be fairly high resolution. But they are definietly worth the loading time!

The picture above is from the gallery named Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait. And this video is from Ted Talks -- Chris Jordan talking about his work and some of the pictures in that gallery. There are several other galleries on his website -- all amazing and thought-provoking, while often being -- as he says -- darkly beautiful. The one called We the People is especially.... oh, sorrowful is the best word I can find for it. These pictures are a wake-up call for the world!

"The best mind-altering drug is truth." ~Lily Tomlin"A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fastens his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences." ~Norman Cousins"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." ~Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Creature Features, Part 2

More scientific info there also.
Very cool… This came to me in an e-mail today. I don't know who wrote this text, but here is some information about the video and the beautiful creature in it, the Blanket Octopus:

This video of a swimming Tremoctopus or “blanket octopus” was shot in the Gulf of Mexico in 180 feet of water at Eugene Island South Addition Block 330 in October, 2008. The location is 100 miles from the Flower Garden Banks, close to Sweet Bank, on the outer continental shelf west of Mississippi Canyon. The video appears to be from an industrial ROV performing inspections on an oil rig.The footage is real, but the species is *unknown. The genus is characterized by extreme sexual dimorphism. Males are ~100 times smaller than females. A similar animal washed up on the beach near Miami, FL last Friday, apparently, and another in 1964, according to NOAA Fisheries Biologist Heather Balchowsky. Special thanks to James Wiseman for the information and Emma Hickerson, FGBNMS for the tip and the link. The trailing web can detach from the host and distract any predator. (Visible mid-way in the video, probably because of the cameraman.) The discarded web attaches itself to the predator, allowing escape.
*Well, I dispute that, since the scientific site listed above has quite a bit of information about this creature, some of it from the 1970's. But it is very little known -- and quite amazing and beautiful! There are so many wonders in this world that we are only now beginning to find! So much still to be discovered!
Shakura Cathryn
"The Universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." ~Eden Phillpotts

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Creature Features, Part 1

This beautiful artwork is by artist Lynn Kingham. It’s a picture of a painted tile, one foot square, I believe, which is part of a large mural called The Wildlife Ark, made up of 216 such tiles painted by different artists. Go to to see the mural. You can click on each tiny tile in the mural to see the enlarged tile. It’s pretty amazing, and very beautiful. There are other murals, also. This artist has a website at


MoonSinger Essentials

"If the beasts were gone, we would die of a great loneliness of spirit." ~Chief Seattle

Friday, March 6, 2009

Poem - Does Every Creature Have a Soul?

Does Every Creature Have a Soul?

A tool
in Your hand I am, dear God,
the sweetest instrument you have shaped my being into.

What makes me now complete --
feeling the soul of every creature against
my heart.

Does every creature have a

Surely they do: for anything God has touched
will have life

and all creatures He
has held.

~St. Francis of Assisi

From Love Poems from God
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Prayer for the Animal Kingdom
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you
and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them, you will not know them,
and what you do not know you will fear.
What one fears one destroys." ~Chief Dan George

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Flight 1549 - A Passengers Story

Top photo: Passengers stand on the wings of a US Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York City. The plane had taken off from LaGuardia Airport en route to Charlotte, N.C. (Reuters Photo / January 15, 2009) Bottom photo: Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, pilot of US Airways Flight 1549
that crashed into the
Hudson River on Jan. 15, makes an appearance on CBS's "The Early Show" Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 in New York. (Jason DeCrow, Associated Press / February 9, 2009)

Miraculous - no one died. And the skill of the pilot is truly amazing…..

As often happens, there was a synchronicity today, which brought my attention to something that touched my heart. Today’s synchronicity involves first receiving an e-mail containing the story of the crash of Flight 1549 into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. It was written by one of the passengers. And then we turned on the TV this evening and happened onto a VERY good documentary program about that miraculous water landing on the Discovery channel.

The most amazing thing, to me, is that the pilot had to bring down this massive airbus into the icy waters of the Hudson River so that the tail of the plane went into the water at and angle of EXACTLY 11 degrees. Anything else, and the plane would have broken up on impact with the water. As it was, there was a breech in the tail and the plane began filling with water, but EVERYONE got out, and everyone was rescued.

The TV program really touched my heart and gave me a very deep appreciation for the skill of the pilot, and the amazing way the people managed to help each other, and what they experienced. The air temperature was 20 degrees, the water temperature estimated to be about 34 to 36 degrees.
Here is the e-mail I received:
This is a first-hand account from a passenger on Flight 1549. It is an internal memo to the members of his firm. It is very well written, is descriptive, and gives this man's honest reactions to the events around him. It's from a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, an executive recruiting firm, who was on Flight 1549. Gerry McNamara (New York/Charlotte) was on US Airways Flight 1549 last week. Here is his account of the event: Thursday was a difficult day for all of us at the firm and I left the Park Avenue office early afternoon to catch a cab bound for LaGuardia Airport.
I was scheduled for a 5pm departure, but able to secure a seat on the earlier flight scheduled to leave at 3pm. As many of us who fly frequently often do, I recall wondering if I'd just placed myself on a flight I shouldn't be on!
Just prior to boarding I finished up a conference call with my associate, Jenn Sparks ( New York ), and our placement, the CIO of United Airlines. When I told him that I was about to board a US Airways flight, we all had a little fun with it.
I remember walking on the plane and seeing a fellow with grey hair in the cockpit and thinking "that's a good thing... I like to see grey hair in the cockpit!"
I was seated in 8F, on the starboard side window and next to a young business man. The New York to Charlotte flight is one I've taken what seems like hundreds of times over the years. We take off north over the Bronx and as we climb, turn west over the Hudson River to New Jersey and tack south. I love to fly, always have, and this flight plan gives a great view of several NY landmarks including Yankee Stadium and the George Washington Bridge.
I had started to point out items of interest to the gentleman next to me when we heard a terrible crash - a sound no one ever wants to hear while flying - and then the engines wound down to a screeching halt.10 seconds later, there was a strong smell of jet fuel. I knew we would be landing and thought the pilot would take us down no doubt to Newark Airport. As we began to turn south I noticed the pilot lining up on the river - still - I thought - en route for Newark.
Next thing we heard was "Brace for impact!" - a phrase I had heard many years before as an active duty Marine Officer but never before on a commercial air flight. Everyone looked at each other in shock. It all happened so fast we were astonished!
We began to descend rapidly and it started to sink in. This is the last flight. I'm going to die today. This is it. I recited my favorite bible verse, the Lord's Prayer, and asked God to take care of my wife, children, family and friends. When I raised my head I noticed people texting their friends and family....getting off a last message. My blackberry was turned off and in my trouser time to get at it. Our descent continued and I prayed for courage to control my fear and help if able.
I quickly realized that one of two things was going to happen, neither of them good. We could hit by the nose, flip and break up, leaving few if any survivors, bodies, cold water, fuel. Or we could hit one of the wings and roll and flip with the same result. I tightened my seat belt as tight as I could possibly get it so I would remain intact.
As we came in for the landing, I looked out the windows and remember seeing the buildings in New Jersey , the cliffs in Weehawken , and then the piers. The water was dark green and sure to be freezing cold. The stewardesses were yelling in unison: "Brace! Brace! Brace!"
It was a violent hit - the water flew up over my window - but we bobbed up and were all amazed that we remained intact.
There was some panic - people jumping over seats and running towards the doors, but we soon got everyone straightened out and calmed down. There were a lot of people that took leadership roles in little ways. Those sitting at the doors over the wing did a fantastic job...they were opened in a New York second! Everyone worked together - teamed up and in groups to figure out how to help each other.
I exited on the starboard side of the plane, 3 or 4 rows behind my seat through a door over the wing and was, I believe, the 10th or 12th person out. I took my seat cushion as a flotation device and once outside saw I was the only one who did....none of us remembered to take the yellow inflatable life vests from under the seat.
We were standing in 6-8 inches of water and it was freezing. There were two women on the wing, one of whom slipped off into the water. Another passenger and I pulled her back on and had her kneel down to keep from falling off again. By that point we were totally soaked and absolutely frozen from the icy wind.
The ferries were the first to arrive, and although they're not made for rescue, they did an incredible job. I know this river, having swum in it as a boy. The Hudson is an estuary - part salt and part fresh water - and moves with the tide. I could tell the tide was moving out because we were tacking slowly south towards Ellis Island , The Statue of Liberty, and The Battery.
The first ferry boat pulled its bow up to the tip of the wing, and the first mate lowered the Jacobs ladder down to us. We got a couple people up the ladder to safety, but the current was strong pushing the stern of the boat into the inflatable slide and we were afraid it would puncture it...there must have been 25 passengers in it by now. Only two or three were able to board the first ferry before it moved away.
Another ferry came up, and we were able to get the woman that had fallen into the water on the ladder, but she just couldn't move her legs and fell off. Back onto the ladder she went; however, the ferry had to back away because of the swift current. A helicopter arrived on station (nearly blowing us all off the wing) and followed the ferry with the woman on the ladder. We lost view of the situation but I believe the helicopter lowered its basket to rescue her.
As more ferries arrived, we were able to get people up on the boats a few at a time. The fellow in front of me fell off the ladder and into the water. When we got him back on the ladder he could not move his legs to climb. I couldn't help him from my position so I climbed up the ladder to the ferry deck where the first mate and I hoisted the Jacobs ladder with him on it...when he got close enough we grabbed his trouser belt and hauled him on deck. We were all safely off the wing.
We could not stop shaking. Uncontrollable shaking. The only thing I had with me was my blackberry, which had gotten wet and was not working. (It started working again a few hours later).
The ferry took us to the Weehawken Terminal in NJ where I borrowed a phone and called my wife to let her know I was okay. The second call I made was to Jenn. I knew she would be worried about me and could communicate to the rest of the firm that I was fine. At the terminal, first responders assessed everyone's condition and sent people to the hospital as needed. As we pulled out of Weehawken my history kicked in and I recall it was the site of the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804.
Thankfully I left town in better condition than Mr. Hamilton who died of a mortal wound the next day! I stayed with my sister on Long Island that evening, then flew home the next day.
I am struck by what was truly a miracle. Had this happened a few hours later, it would have been pitch dark and much harder to land. Ferries would no longer have been running after rush hour and it would not have been the same uplifting story. Surely there would have been fatalities, hypothermia, an absolute disaster!
I witnessed the best of humanity that day. I and everyone on that plane survived and have been given a second chance. It struck me that in our work we continuously seek excellence to solve our client's leadership problems. We talk to clients all the time about the importance of experience and the ability to execute. Experience showed up big time on Flight 1549 as our pilot was a dedicated, trained, experienced professional who executed flawlessly when he had to.
I have received scores of emails from across the firm and I am so grateful for the outpouring of interest and concern. We all fly a great deal or work with someone who does and so I wanted to share this story - the story of a miracle. I am thankful to be here to tell the tale.
There is a great deal to be learned including: Why has this happened to me? Why have I survived and what am I supposed to do with this gift? For me, the answers to these questions and more will come over time, but already I find myself being more patient and forgiving, less critical and judgmental.
For now I have 4 lessons I would like to share:
1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to keep your promises.
2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don't worry about the things you don't have.
3. Keep in shape. You never know when you'll be called upon to save your own life, or help someone else save theirs.
4. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when you'll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and pajamas and of absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.
And I'd like to add: Fly with gray-haired pilots!

Here’s a good news story about it:

I am so very glad I didn’t have to experience that in person – but I am so touched by the bravery and skill of the pilot, and the many people from the ferry boats, the NYPD divers, and others who helped with the rescue. And it certainly puts some perspective on what’s important!

Grateful for miracles, courage, skill and kindness,
All experiences in life can be sorted into two categories: (1) Experiences to be enjoyed; and (2) Experiences to be learned from. There is no slot in between. Nothing random. Figure out which experiences fall into which category, and you are well on your way home." ~Alan Cohen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Guest House / Happy Office Orchestra

Especially for my much appreciated friend Anthony, who loves this poem…

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)
Poem from


And here’s a video I enjoyed:
The Happy Office Orchestra
Back in the days when I had a “real” job, I wish I’d worked in an office like this!

Out of a great need
We are all holding hands
And climbing.