So let this collage be a little seasonal gift. And here's another; a link for a new little zine of encouragement here for you from me. You can download it, print it and fold it so that it makes a little zine. With the folding instructions you can create more zines of your own.
There are more seasonal gifts and stories to follow in this blog because people are sending me the most amazing links and ideas which need to be shared as I read on Reclaiming.com an amazing link from Juba, an art therapy student in Nelson, BC.
The central goal in Native American child-rearing is to the teach the importance of being generous and unselfish. In The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter shares the advice of his grandmother, "When you come on something good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out where no telling it will go." In helping others, youth create their own proof of worthiness: they make a positive contribution to another human life.
So the first story is from Kent Nerburn's Small Graces; The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life. In it he describes the kindergarten class room of a friend of his.
There were hugs, small animals, baskets full of clothes and costumes; colors, shapes, signs that meant nothing at all. Put them on, march around, crawl on the floor. Speak in a language that no one else knows. Draw a picture of something that no one has ever seen.
What's your name today? Why don't we all talk backwards? What would a starfish say to a star?...
'What is the secret?' I ask her...
'Corners,' she said. 'All children need corners.'
I looked around the classroom. Small piles of stones in shoeboxes. Little worlds constructed in cubicles and cubbies. Corners.
She showed me a hidden place behind a bookshelf where one boy had strung a complex web of string and yarn, and filled it with climbing plastic men.
We walked to the center of the room. A circle had been taped to the floor. 'This is where we meet together,' she said. 'It is good for them to know that we are all part of a whole. But there,' she continued, pointing to the corners, boxes, the cubbies, 'is where they go to dream.'
That's exactly what we need, circles to know we are part of something greater than ourselves and we need corners, too, where we can dream and make art.
The next story came from CharityFocus a newsletter with little inspiring stories and challenges. So this story was about John McCarthy', a 29-year-old British journalist who was ambushed in Beirut and imprisoned in a tiny cell for 5 years. His companion in captivity was Irishman Brian Keenan. In Keenan's words, at the heart of their shared ordeal there lay an implicit paradox: that "in the most inhuman of circumstances men grow and deepen in humanity." An inspiring interview with John McCarthy follows here all about simplicity and kindness. Very good read!
Then Lore sent me this story about a humpback whale that was freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines, so imbedded in her skin that it took 3 divers about an hour to untangle and free the whale who responded by "swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one."
To read the whole story, click here.
Here's the end of Lore's email, which I'll pass on to you:
May you, and all those you love,
be so blessed and fortunate ....
to be surrounded by people
who will help you get untangled
from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy
of giving and receiving gratitude.
And remember for great suggestions for simplicity and joy during the holidays visit http://www.newdream.org/
Hope you are having a lovely, stress-free, joyful, creative, and simple holiday season.