Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When The News Feels Real And Close

My husband and I were talking tonight about an NGO we support. Lately, they have hired a new president who has changed the focus and tone of the organization in a way that we feel is less than positive. We had talked about dropping our support to put it towards another organization that helped in a way that matches what we care most about, but then decided first to call to see if someone would first meet with us to perhaps cast their new vision or tell us if their original vision really is gone for good. So we'll be meeting with a great guy who writes incredible letters to supporters next month when he comes to our house for dinner.

But what brings that all to mind is how we were talking about this NGO's new focus of straight relief work, and how the new president likes to quote numbers of those lost in natural disasters and damages in terms of dollars. We talked about how that no longer really touches us because it is so prevalent on the news.

Such and such a place had a hurricane and hundreds of people died? So what. That happened just last year somewhere nearby, didn't it? That country had an earthquake and thousands are dead or homeless? So what. Earthquakes are always happening, and poor people are always losing their homes to some natural disaster.

That is unfortunately our unconscious response a lot of times because we have all been deadened to the shock and reality simply because we are inundated with it through all types of media. Nothing touches us anymore. Or does it?

My Bohemian Midwife friend knows what it is like to hear a news story and have it touch the core of her own heart, to cause such agony of soul that sleep and peace are lost in the midst of the grief and helplessness caused by being thousands of miles removed and unable to do anything.

Did you hear about the murders in Yemen? Did you know that those nine people were real people with senses of humor, real heart, real lives, real conversations, real dreams, real families, and real stories? Did you know that they spent their time saving lives every single day in a rather ill equipped hospital, and simply went out for a picnic together, never suspecting that they would soon be murdered? In that group, a family of five is lost forever. Can you imagine?

For the first time in a long time, a news item on the media has finally touched my heart. But only because I know my friend is grieving a deep loss.

It makes me realize how careful I must be not to stay permanently desensitized, and it also cautions me against making sweeping decisions about where my money and help go without first talking firsthand to those in the trenches. We need to know the stories, to know the people, to connect heart to heart.

Don't know if this makes sense or not, but it's something I wanted to put out there, mainly for my own benefit to remember.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

For Our Favorite UK Housewife

I got tagged. I don't usually do these, but since I really like visiting over at my favorite UK Housewife's blog found through my cousin's blog, I thought I'd cooperate with her kind request to play a game of tag. Fortunately, it doesn't involve real running, so I don't have to worry about various organs falling out of me. Ah, the lovely side effects of giving birth. But I digress. Onto the game....

What is your current obsession?
I'm not really obsessive, but as for something I REALLY like, well, it might be those miniature seedless watermelons.

What is your weirdest obsession?
Again, I'm not obsessive, but my weirdest habit might be melting chocolate chips to have as dip for Granny Smith apples. In my twisted way of thinking, the fruit justifies the chocolate.

What are you wearing today?
Gray crop athletic pants, a white nursing tank, and the most adorable light pink short sleeved top. Someone once told me redheads weren't allowed to wear pink. I've recently discovered all over again that I LOVE pink, and so I'm forgetting that someone ever told me pink wasn't for me.

What's for dinner?
The most amazing and kind sister of a friend of ours came over and spent her whole day cooking in my kitchen and taking care of Grasshopper so I could do some chores. She made a delectable vegetarian chili that had butternut squash in it. It was so yummy, and I had two servings topped with fresh cilantro and shredded cheese, along with a slice of my own homemade whole wheat toast. I had only met this woman once before, and she lives four hours away. But she spent all that time to come here, and she not only cooked, but she stocked my frig and freezer with fruits and veggies, and even gave me some special products known for their healing properties. What a gift, and what a yummy dinner. She was such a blessing to have in our home, such a calming and sweet presence.

What would you eat for your last meal?
Salmon with a marinade of sundried tomatoes, garlic, and parsley; roasted root veggies, grilled green veggies, and homemade rosemary focaccia, with chocolate torte and homemade mango sorbet for dessert.

What's the last thing you bought?
Living butter lettuce and a huge artichoke.

What are you listening to right now?
The sweet silence left after my child finally stopped crying. He's past the point of going to sleep, and so he's been sobbing with exhaustion, but can't seem to give up and sleep. But the silence tells me maybe it finally happened. Thankfully, his daddy has been with him during this time, so I could have a bit of a break. (We don't leave him to cry like that alone, thinking that is horrid.)

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I really love and miss Baskin Robbins chocolate fudge.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
I am so glad to have "met" her through my cousin's blog. She makes the world a better place because of how she lives out her beliefs and what is in her heart. And I wish so many good blessings for her.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Somewhere in BC with a view of a mountain and water, preferably the Pacific. But then again, I like snow, so it would probably have to be a bit away from the Pacific. And ideally, it would be on a plot of about 40 acres, complete with forest, orchard, garden, and horse barn.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The Caribbean or maybe Hawaii. I long for a beach.

Which language do you want to learn?
As a future Canadian, it would behoove me to speak French. My husband keeps trying to teach me, but I'm woefully incompetent at forming the sounds properly. And because there are so many East Indians here, perhaps it would be good to learn Farsi or whatever it is they speak.

What's your favorite quote (for now)?
Eugene O’Neill has written: "Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is the glue.”

What is your favorite color?
Purple and light pink. (How girly am I?!)

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
It's a toss up between this very pretty ocean blue layered skirt I bought the other day and my wedding shoes - crocheted espadrilles wit ankle ties that I actually still wear on special occasions.

What is your dream job?
A novelist and non-fiction author writing under a pseudonym.

What is your worst habit?
I am terrible about putting laundry away and keeping an uncluttered home. This really needs to be fixed.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Can a woman buy sleep? Okay, clothes and shoes.

Do you admire any one's style?
The 50-something director of women's ministries at my church has amazing style. (It's funny that I was once shocked by that same style, but now I love it and wish she could take me shopping. And I kind of wish I could pull of the diamond nose ring too.)

Describe your personal style?
Classic, washable, feminine, with a penchant for outdoor technical clothing and the odd flirty skirt.

What are you going to do after this?
Sleep until the next nursing session.

What are your favorite movies?
Pride and Prejudice (A&E), Anne of Green Gables

What is your favorite fruit?
Fresh picked raspberries.

What inspires you?
I'm going to keep what our UK housewife said:"good honest people who dare to live the way we all should".

Your favorite book?
Currently it is: God and I by Lewis Smedes.

Do you collect something?
Books and sweaters.

What is your favorite smell?
Lilacs and my baby.

What is your fave HGTV show?
I don't have a television, but I used to enjoy Design on a Dime.

Okay, that was fun. Now onto see about getting some sleep before the wee one wants to nurse.