Category Archives: Emotional

Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven

The Raven Evermore

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”-
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never- nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by Horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting-
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

Emotional Stuff That Makes Me MAD

This emotional video of a 6-year-old boy with cerebral palsy walking to his homecoming marines-dad the first time made me raving mad…

Am I the only one wondering why this dad was away so long instead of being with his son during all these years?

What is so heart-warming about a mercenary for an imperial outfit to go out and miss his family to support the ‘interest’ of the owners of a country like the US?

Usually, in response to this, we hear that they are heroes defending our freedom and liberty.  Could not possibly be true if we look at the only country I know of that had no war for two centuries – Switzerland – a country smack in the middle of the bloodiest wars.

They have a militia – as suggested the US should have according to the constitution. Being in the militia is a part-time job, so they can be home with the family and they don’t go out to foreign lands to conquer. They are just all armed and ready to shoot any invading troops and are trained snipers to take out the highest officers – not troops – and that caused even Hitler to leave them alone.

No, marine-dad, there is no reason for you to wait years to see your son walk, if you would stop believing all this imperialistic propaganda, evaluate the ethics of what you are asked to do and find out that killing is simply killing, even if you are ordered to do so by a ‘law-maker’ – a glorified lawyer.

Just imagine – they gave a war – and nobody went…

The Idea of Freedom is definitely not new

I always equated Charlie Chaplin with comedy, but when I look back, the most memorable scene I remember, is a bitter-sweet scene from City Lights. In fact, beside some shorter clips on TV I did not actually see much of his work.

But after seeing his speech in The Great Dictator I have to change that. I was surprised that this movie is actually not available on Netflix.

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In the face of imminent death

During my flying career, I have only once been really scared for an extended amount of time. Coming down from very calm air over Lake Isabella for a landing at Kern Airport I was hit by some serious turbulence.

I had the hardest time to keep the dirty side of the airplane down and at the same time initiating a very gently 180 degree turn – I knew where the air was calm and needed to get back there. As I write these lines clearly  I did make it, but after coming out of that turbulence I had to land at the next available airport and get my shaking knees under control.

I am contrasting myself to the professionalism and calmness of the pilot of the US Airways Flight that went down in the Hudson river some two years ago, and I don’t look that good. Sure, he is a professional and trained for situations like that, but it is, nevertheless, admirable how he stayed calm in the face of his own possible death. From a very detached point of view clearly this was the correct thing to do, to have the best chances for survival. The outcome proved him right.

From this day forwards, as we all understand now, we will always ask ourselves, when we are getting upset about something – “how will this upset help me in this situation?” If you just remember to ask yourself this question, I am sure it will get you over this upset immediately.

Here, for you to admire, the events of the ditching of the US Airways flight in the Hudson River…

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Men Crying in Public

Thanks, Kathie, for this story:

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the WalMart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.  Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’ she said.

‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ she repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?’

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘ If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ‘ ‘

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did.  I ran. I got wet.  I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

I can not say that I’m much of a guy who things much of a god’s guidance or wisdom. But I have to admit that such display of faith into something usually gets me choked up a bit. One of the most intense experiences in this regard is this little book “Mister God, This Is Anna” by Flynn. I had tears streaming down my face for bigger part of the book. Neither tears of sorrow nor tears of joy – just a turmoil of emotion.

I sometimes wonder what’s causing this strong emotional reaction to faith into something. Not that I mind it, it might be sometimes a bit embarrassing when it happens towards the end of a movie in the theater, but I can live with that.

I am just really curious – with no good idea…

Nine Month

Thanks, Kathie, for this heart-wrenching story…

John decided to go skiing with his buddy, Keith. So they loaded up John’s minivan and headed north.

After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. So they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.

“I realize it’s terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I’m recently widowed,” she explained. “I’m afraid the neighbours will talk if I let you stay in my house.”

“Don’t worry,” John said. “We’ll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we’ll be gone at first light.” The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night.

Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of skiing.

But about nine months later, John got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the ski weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Keith and asked, “Keith, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north about 9 months ago?”

“Yes, I do.” Said Keith.

“Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?”

“Well, um, yes!,” Keith said, a little embarrassed about being found out, “I have to admit that I did.”

“And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name?”

Keith’s face turned beet red and he said, “Yeah, look, I’m sorry, buddy. I’m afraid I did. Why do you ask?”

“She just died and left me everything.”

Breakfast at McDonald’s

I just love stories!

When my son and I ran into a commercial advertising James Cameron’s new movie Sanctum he wondered why it was stressed that this movie was “inspired by true events.”

The only answer I could come up with was that people put more significance or importance on a story if it is ‘true’. But for the movie in question the choice of the phrase ‘inspired by’ could mean as little as “I saw a dog fall into a pond and had the idea to make a movie about cave scuba diving.” Surely, there is a true event – dog falling into pond – and that inspired the making of that movie.

I have learned a long time ago that ‘true’ is a very elastic term. When I had the experience that two people, with no agenda to sway me one way or the other, told me about the same event and I could not recognize the event as one and the same, I learned that ‘Truth’ is a relative term – a fact that detectives and investigators understand.

With this said, the following story had the label ‘true’ but I do not really care – it’s a good story with something to learn from. It came in a viral email with the typical ending, that I had to send it to at least three people to have my wishes come true at some point in time and to 126 people if I want them to come true right away. I leave this part of the email out and concentrate on the story itself.

Here we go…

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.

The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, ‘Smile.’

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake – literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one a crisp March morning.

It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch – an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible ‘dirty body’ smell, and there, standing behind me, were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was ‘smiling.’ His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, ‘Good day’ as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, ‘Coffee is all Miss’ because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm.)

Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the Restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, ‘Thank you.’

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, ‘I did not do this for you.. God is here working through me to give you hope.’

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, ‘That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.’

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in ‘my project’ and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, ‘Can I share this?’ I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:

UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Ode to Dad

Dad, it must be about forty years ago that you tried to let us participate in your experience of reading the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. This was, I believe, your first venture into the world of spiritual awakening.

And I did not understand – and laughed.

Sure, I have the excuse that I was young, but I am an old soul and should have understood if I would have just listened.

I also know that I have used you. I remember that one time when I wanted to have a stand for my slide projector but was too lazy to build it myself. I had a clear vision of what and how I wanted it to be. But I came to you pretending ignorance and asked your advise. Then steered you so that you came to exactly what I wanted. You were so happy that I took your advise that you then built it for me. I know you had the feeling that you needed to show me your worth, but I used that shamelessly and I can’t say that I am proud of succeeding.

When I used my control then, I was cocky about my abilities but I promise that has changed radically.

Now I see that it was you who allowed me to grow up without worries. That gave me the opportunity to develop the ability to manipulate and control. I sure hope that this was not the only ability that I developed. I am grateful for that opportunity – – now.

Now I am reading Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi” myself and I finally understand why you were eager to share your feelings with us.

Time is of no significance – so, finally, I can listen to you and tell you what 40 years ago I was not able to do – – – COOL!

Changing the World with Music

“Change” seems to be all the hype right now. Even the presidential campaign was won with this slogan. There seems to be so much people don’t like and want to change (or have changed for them) that simply using ‘change’ as a buzz word will get attention.

Now mostly change is not really what we want. Maybe we have something in mind that is so far beyond everything we can imagine, that simple an end of the current situation looks appealing. But, in my own experience, the universe has a strange kind of humor. It tries to comply but if the goal of the change is not clearly specified we will get a change but the new situation might not be what we really had in mind – hidden back there in the crevices, afraid to verbalize.

Let’s take a look at politics right now – we will have a president that will implement change – he did not say what the change will be so this is a pretty smart move as now everybody has a very own version of that change he or she envisions in mind and thinks that’s what will come. And if that’s not what will get implemented then it becomes obvious why not – because it was never even promised. And something is always changed, so the promise is kept.

If we want a situation to be different we have to be specific in what we want the outcome of the change to be otherwise the change itself will be the outcome and this is certainly not what we want. It reminds me of the sign at the bar stating “Tomorrow free Beer” – obviously attractive so that patrons return, but of no consequence and cost for the proprietor – he is keeping his promise.

In other words – change is not what we want and we have to be honest with what we actually want, take away the attention from what is and see the outcome now. Remember Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you want to see in the world” with the stress on BE.

Change has become an emotionally loaded word and the following video is definitely a prime example. It made me cry (in a positive way, I might add)…

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This is from Playing for Change, a project to ‘bring change’ through music. I can imagine that this project could benefit from clearly stating what the outcome will be after the change is accomplished.

Other videos on this foundation’s web site do show what the change will be – eduction, building, improving situations through music, etc, so the outcome is stated and the video with it’s emotion caused me to look, so I guess it all worked out OK.