Frozen II

At the movies tonight, I was swept up into the blast of Elsa and Anna.  I didn’t see the original Frozen and that didn’t matter.  The intensity of II was extreme and I fell in love with the two heroines.

Right now, I can’t remember much about the film, which is thoroughly strange, since I just got home.  So how the heck can I write about it?  Somehow I’m confident that what will come out of my mind will touch home.

Elsa and Anna have huge eyes and the contact between them goes deep.  There’s an aliveness in the relationships here, a sense of going to the core of things, casting off the trivial, and seeing the beauty of the human being facing you.

Elsa hears a voice calling her forward to the unknown.  The music swells as she steps out into the fullness of life.  At one point she walks resolutely into the mist, somehow knowing that she will be safe as the landmarks disappear.  Hers is indeed a calling, and she holds her head high as she embraces the mystery of it all.

There are separations and there are joinings.  The ebbs and flows of living are well represented but the ebbs can’t stop the surge of spirit.  When Elsa sings, there’s a brilliant intensity, a full-throated volume as her mouth opens.  No half measures.  Something huge is propelling her into the marketplace of life, grappling with shallow forces and keeping wide eyes on the vibrancy beyond the mundane.

So it remains for all of us to reach out, touch our dreams, stay true to the world we know in our hearts and want to bring forth in reality.  You don’t have to be pretty or handsome, young and virile, or wise beyond your years.  You just have to see it and want it real bad.

Elsa and Anna stand tall in their vision and in their love for each other. They beckon us onward to our own individual promised lands and to a world that serves all beings.  We dare not settle for less.

Unbounded

Write five words you can spell

five
words
you
can
spell

What ended in 1896?

1895

(On a physics exam) What is the strongest force on earth?

Love

Expand (a+b)ª

(a+b)ª … (a + b)ª … (a + b)ª … (a + b)ª …

The man can ______. (rub, run, rug)
The man ______ the dog. (fit, hit)

The man can run.
The man pet the dog. (You should not hit dogs)

Write an example of a risk.

This

You are to assume the role of a Chinese immigrant in 1870 and write a letter home describing your experiences.

頁 – 設 – 是 – 煵 – 엌 – 嫠 – 쯦 – 案 – 煪 – ㍱ – 從 – つ – 浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱 – 橱 – 迎 – 事 – 網 – 計 – 簡 – 大 ㍵ – 畱 – 煵 – 田 – 煱 – 둻 – 睤 – ㌹

浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱 – 橱 – 迎 – 事 – 網 – 計 – 簡 – 大 ㍵ – 畱 – 煵 – 田 – 煱 – 둻 – 睤 – ㌹

煵 – 엌 – 嫠 – 쯦 – 案 – 煪 – ㍱ – 從 – つ – 浳 – 浤 – 搰 – ㍭ – 煤 – 洳 – 橱

Name the shapes: Δ Ο ◊ ∠ Ω

Δ (Bob) Ο (Terry) ◊ (Denise) ∠ (Murphy) Ω (Barb)

(Test on hard and soft water) Briefly explain what hard water is.

Ice

What do we call the science of classifying living things?

Racism

Solve: 1/n sin x =

funny-test-answers-smartass-kids-6

I earn money at home by _______.

I don’t. I am a freeloader.

Can a man still reproduce with one testicle?

No, girls don’t find that shit attractive.

The difference between 180 and 158is ______. Explain how you found your answer.

22. Math.

Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?

At the bottom.

What happens during puberty to a boy?

He says goodbye to his childhood and enters adultery.

Cause: Tony practices the piano 20 minutes every day.
Effect: __________

He is a big nerd.

To change centimeters to meters you __________.

Take out centi.

Tapeworms are hemaphrodites. What is meant by the term “hermaphrodite”?

Lady Gaga

Miranda can’t see anything when she looks down her microscope. Suggest one reason why not.

She is blind.

How many days are in a week? ______
How many months are in a year? ______
Is this number even or odd? 68 ______
How do you know? ______

How many days are in a week? … 7
How many months are in a year? … 12
Is this number even or odd? 68 … even
How do you know? … because I’m smart

***

Aren’t we all

What Kind of Spiritual Person Am I?

First of all, I am one of those. I know it. No calculating, no comparing “yes” and “no” lists of attributes. My heart is open.

Am I the monk in the cave, blissing out on the oneness of the universe? Certainly not. I’m in the marketplace of living, full of contradictions. Sublime … exploding. Repeat.

And so we have the subject of dinner at Boston Pizza in Toronto. I love nachos, and many a time at this restaurant chain my order has appeared crammed with cheese on the top, and virtually naked on the bottom. Should my spirituality include all, knowing that the world of form is an illusion? NO, it shouldn’t.

As a proactive human being, I asked the bartender to have the chef layer my nachos. She said she’d do her best.

A few minutes later, a full plate appeared me before me. In the spirit of doubt, I peeked underneath the pile and discovered many chips with no cheese or anything else. “I’m sending this back.” The Bruce of five years ago would never have uttered these words.

Soon the bartender returned. She told me that the chef would charge me for extra cheese to meet my request. And there’s the moment. Do I lower my head, accede to the powers in the world, and chow down on dryness? No again. I asked her to have the manager come over.

The gentleman arrived with all dispatch. He heard my story and said that he’d make it right. No surcharge. He was calm. I was calm. And the result was produced. I was a happy customer.

My perception (and I could be faulty here) is that the bartender’s brightness transformed to stone after I spoke up. Hmm. Am I willing to abide with such perceived distance in order to stand with what I see is the truth? Yes, I am.

There’s an edge to my spirituality. It’s pretty new. I intend it to stay.

Unapologetic Greatness

In the Evolutionary Collective, people from near and far meet on the Internet to explore consciousness together, to further the growth of deep love in the world. There is a practice we do, usually 1-1, in which a profound connection often emerges. We glimpse the possibility of a unblemished unity flowing between members of the human family.

Sometimes on our calls, a teacher will ask for a volunteer to practice with her or him in front of the whole group. We see everyone onscreen by way of Zoom, a technology similar to Skype. The intention is for all of us to learn as the volunteer leaps in, sometimes missing the mark, sometimes hitting the bullseye. The teacher gives feedback. Ideally, the volunteer accepts it with grace.

I’ve been terrified of such encounters and have never volunteered.

Until last night.

Without thought, I found my finger tapping the “Raise Hand” button … and there I was, naked in the digital world. I opened to the moment and let the emerging words flow out. My expression was outside of the realms of “good” or “bad”. It was simply real.

Once we had moved on from the coaching, I felt warm inside. Glowing. At peace.

For many months, I’d labelled my timidity as fear of failure. But I wonder. Could it be instead that the image of me having outrageous power to do good in the world was just too terrifying? What would my life become if I was consistently “out there” in a huge way? Could I cope with the fierce bolts of electricity? Would I end up alone?

***

Afterwards, I remembered a woman who spoke piercingly about the fear of being great. I didn’t remember her name. I didn’t remember her words. So I just sat quietly, hoping that a phrase would come back to me. And it did:

“Playing small does not serve the world”

Mr. Google did the rest.

***

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Hobson and Juliette

I had lunch today with my friend Arlene at Shelly’s in London.  We talked for two hours.  It seemed clear to me that what brings her the most happiness is her two grandchildren.  Juliette is 10 and I think Hobson is 7.  The smile across the table said it all.

I thought Arlene said “Thompson” but, no, that wasn’t right.  It was “Hobson”.  Such an unusual name.  The young man’s parents, Lydia and Chris, are in the Canadian Forces, stationed at Petawawa, Ontario.  They met long ago when they both joined the Hobson Platoon.  I wondered what inspired them to give their son that name.

Frederick Hobson emigrated here from England and enlisted when Canada entered World War I.  He was sent overseas and fought the Germans.  He died in Lens, France in 1917 and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.  Here’s a newspaper account:

During a strong enemy counterattack, a Lewis gun in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines was buried by a shell, and the crew, with the exception of one man, was killed.  Sergeant Hobson, though not a gunner, grasping the great importance of the post, rushed from his trench, dug out the gun, and got it into action against the enemy who were now advancing down the trench and across the open.  A jam caused the gun to stop firing.  Though wounded, he left the gunner to correct the stoppage, rushed forward at the advancing enemy and with bayonet and clubbed rifle single-handedly held them back until he himself was killed by a rifle shot.  By this time however, the Lewis gun was again in action and with reinforcements shortly afterwards arriving, the enemy were beaten off.  The valour and devotion to duty displayed by this non-commissioned officer gave the gunner the time required to again get the gun into action, and saved a most serious situation.

Chris and Lydia were so moved by Sergeant Hobson’s sacrifice that they wanted his name to live on.  A happy young boy now carries it.

***

Lydia was pregnant in 2008.  She had learned about General Romeo Dallaire, a general in the Canadian Forces.

Dallaire served as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda, between 1993 and 1994, and attempted to stop the genocide that was being waged by Hutu extremists against the Tutsi people and Hutu moderates.

Seeing the impact of this great humanitarian, Lydia wanted to name her future son “Romeo”.  Except that a girl was placed in her arms.  Mom and dad knew what to do.  They chose the name “Juliet”.  Since Chris’ mom was French-Canadian, the parents expanded the name to the Francophone version “Juliette”.

***

I sat enthralled as the grandkids came alive for me.  “They love each other so much,” said grandma.  Juliette and Hobson are at the same school but on a different recess schedule.  As Juliette’s recess ends, she lingers on the yard until Hobson emerges from the school … to give him a hug and a kiss.

Ahh, love.  Where would we be without it?

Last

I watched the Grade 3’s to 6’s run cross-country today at Fanshawe Conservation Area. We were one of maybe twenty schools churning their guts out over hill and dale. Every race had at least one kid from home and I applauded lustily.

The surge of children flying over the first few hundred metres was spectacular … an absolute flood of power roared by me. After they’d disappeared past a grove of trees, I sauntered over to another viewing spot about halfway along the race. When the boys or girls reached this stretch, they were strung out and breathing hard.

I know me, and I know what I love to do – cheer on every kid, no matter what school they represented. So each race I clapped and exhorted from the first athlete to the last.

And there at the end were the true lessons of the day. Sure, the leaders were marvelous athletes worthy of all the praise raining down, but the true heroes trailed the pack. Exhaustion danced with embarrassment and a determination to finish. No shining medals for these folks. Usually it was just me and the high school volunteer marshals who remained on the course to cheer on the stragglers. It’s lonely being last.

I remember.

Way back in Grade 8, I was a nerdy kid who had never ventured onto a team. At Field Day in June, the principal had lined up all the Grade 7 and Grade 8 girls and boys across the wide expanse of our schoolyard for a 100 yard dash. I’d guess that there were three classes in each grade, with maybe 30 students in each. So … about 180 of us were off with the gun.

You know how this story ends. For awhile, I thought my physical weakmess and flaring acne would be the end of me. But they weren’t. I turned out just fine.

I’m with you, dear last place finishers in today’s meet. There’s a bond between us, and the path ahead is very much alive. On we go.

Michelle Revered and Detested

Coco Gauff is a 15-year-old tennis player who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon before bowing out to Simona Halep, formerly the world number one. I watched her press conference after the match. I marvelled at how well she spoke. Her words flowed and there was a quietness inside that reached out to the audience.

Michelle Obama tweeted congratulations and Coco was clearly touched by her gesture. “I’ve looked up to her for a long time. She’s such a role model.” Yes, for me too. A girl and a woman share grace, sweetness and also tenacity. Companions of the spirit, decades apart. Both so out there in the world, visible to the scrutiny of the assembled masses.

Just now, I looked up Michelle’s book Becoming in the Kindle Store.  I read some reviews.  What an education.  Here are some samples:

***

I believe I always loved Michelle Obama.  Her grace and dignity always seemed to come as a gift from above.  Her spirit is so incredibly deep and strong.

Slow and boring and self-boasting

***

It’s a wonderful, heartfelt, true story of HOPE in a world gone far too cynical.

Full of misleading statements and untruths

***

She’s open, honest and forthcoming.  Fantastic read.

If you are an insomniac, this book will definitely help that.  A real snoozer.

***

I truly believe many young girls will read the book and know
they can live with honor like you.

A shallow-minded patting on the back

***

I applaud her and the book.  It brought tears to my eyes
and deep appreciation for the Obamas.

Poorly written, silly comments in bad taste.
This is not a good book for a lady to read.

***

Mrs. Obama opens up and gives us a real look into her heart and mind and experiences in a way that is authentic and original.

Worst piece of crap ever

***

Amazing read.  Mrs. Obama is a treasure and her honest, thoughtful words and a dignified grace make me realize just how special a person she is.

What a joke.

***

Michelle Obama, thanks for being such a great role model while you were in the White House … championing exercise and good food for children and speaking your mind with grace and courage.

The lies, the misleading statements and poppycock drama to get you feel bad or believe something that is not true

+++

The message for me is to keep speaking my truth,
knowing that some people will like it and some won’t.
The source of my well-being does not lie within them.

Standing Out or Blending In?

I’ve been reading an article on leadership, specifically on leaders being attacked emotionally.  Woh … I cringe at the thought of being the target of abuse.  Too scary.  Surely I’d run away, hide in my house, play it safe.  But that leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth.  I know I’m up for more than that in life.

I tell myself that I want to contribute to people in a big way.  For that to happen, surely I need to be visible, not just an anonymous giver.  To be naked in the world, the beauty and warts right there for all to see.  Going towards rather than away from.

The authors are Harvey Jackins and his son Tim.  Here are some of their very pointed thoughts:

It is almost part of your job as leader to make mistakes.  Part of your job as leader is to keep trying new, difficult things, to keep stretching yourself enough that there is a chance of error.  (Who, me?  Yes, me.)

An attack is not an attempt to correct mistakes … The effect of attacks is always to destruct, to restimulate [trigger egoic patterns] … and to generally disrupt the functioning [of the community].  (It sounds like an attack is a deliberate attempt to injure rather than an assertive way to deal with an issue.)

Almost always, being attacked is an indication that you are doing something rather well.  (So, am I committed to pursuing a dream that will benefit humanity … or not?  Is my stand worth the flak that likely will come my way?)

Almost always it has fallen to the person who is the object of the attack to handle the attack.  That is a mistake.  (You mean I have to be brave, to be “out there”, even if I’m not the one being attacked?  Answer: You don’t have to.  You can choose to.)

Anyone you have seen working hard for years to benefit many people deserves for you to hold off that bit of restimulation, and take a stand for them, for yourself, for the community and our work.  (So, I’ll be strong enough to resist being triggered by the attack on another and therefore me reliving past fears.  I’ll be strong enough to stand tall for my set-upon colleague.  Answer: Yes.)

We do not allow anyone the option of attacking someone.  You have the option of giving up that behavior or you have the option of not being part of this community.  (Straight shooting.  Not peaceful co-existence.  Not live and let be.)

Do I have the cojones to say to someone attacking myself or another “That’s it!  No more.  We will talk later.  Back off!  You don’t get to behave that way, no matter what happened in the past.  Maybe there is a problem.  Maybe there isn’t.  We will figure it out.  But you don’t get to treat anybody that way.  I wouldn’t let anyone treat you that way.  You have to stop, now.”?  (Okay, here’s where the rubber hits the road.  Do I speak up in the face of myself or others being demeaned, disparaged, insulted, stepped upon … or remain suppressedly silent?  Hmm.)

Most organizations have attacks going on frequently, and it’s always disruptive of the organization.  It always limits their effectiveness because much of the time people are too upset by the attacks to actually do the work they’re in the organization for.  (Hmm again.  What a waste of time.  What a waste of the precious human energies that are eager to do good.  Let’s change this.)

Stand up
Speak up
Grow up

Seeking Gifts

Just before I went to California in April, a boy in the Grade 6 class asked me if I’d bring him back a snow globe. I thought for a second and then said yes. In Monterey, I had so much fun tracking down just what he wanted – a version that featured a sea otter.

On Tuesday, I was in class before my afternoon flight to Alberta. A boy had already asked me to find a wooden sculpture for him. I bet everyone knew that I’d said yes. As time wound down towards my departure, two girls came by separately and each shyly said how much they’d like to have a necklace from Alberta. I asked for details of what they’d prefer and they were happy to oblige. I overheard another young lady telling her friends that she’d love to have a souvenir from the west.

So, Mr. Kerr, do you give these kids what they’re asking for? Immediately the answer came back “Yes”. I choose to reward the kids who speak up, who are brave enough to ask.

On the plane to Calgary, I decided to give the last girl the gift she wanted – some depiction of a horse. It’s true that she didn’t ask me directly but at least she tossed her intention out there.

Today was my first full day with Nona, Lance, Jaxon, Jagger and Jace. Nona knew of a few gift shops in nearby Black Diamond and I promised to be no more than half an hour. I figured I had six more days to score any unfound treasures.

First the recommended drug store with its gift section. A small rearing horse caught my attention on the top shelf. Cool. But so did the $89.99 price tag. My eyes roamed and soon came to rest on a pile of small plates. The top one had a sublime painting of a mom horse and her foal. I stared. “Yes” rang through me. Just like that, one of the four was complete. I could see the future smile on the 11-year-old’s face.

The accompanying shelves weren’t yielding further secrets so I readied myself to leave. I asked the saleslady where in town I was likely to find necklaces. She smiled and gestured over to where I had been. Little boxes, each with a pendant, graced the glass. I hadn’t noticed their silver chains. Before me were jewelry designs in abalone shells – shimmering greens and blues.

The first one to my eyes showed the shining feathers of a dreamcatcher, and the face of one of the askers appeared. Less than a minute later, I saw a “Tree of Life” pendant, and the other young face was smiling at me. How can this be? Three out of four in ten minutes!

I meandered down the street, peeking into this shop and that. The warmth of one place beckoned me inward. My request for “a little wooden sculpture” drew a smile from a clerk and an offer to shift my attention to tiny stone animals. I looked at the small ones in their rectangular compartments and knew that the answer was no. But I was being nudged onward, past several displays of artistry. There, sitting on a vibrant scarf, were four small wooden boxes. One was rounded at the top and a tree stretched over. Mango wood from India. Four.

In ten days, my young friends, gifts will be given.

We Can Change the World

Pie in the sky?
The musing of a fool?
Irrational and irrelevant?

Perhaps not

***

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies . . . Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die . . . It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.

***

It’s the outsiders who change the world.

***

A socially accepted or cultured person can never change society. By change it means something that society has never imagined before.

***

One smile has the power to …

Calm fears
Soften stone walls
Warm a cold heart
Invite a new friend
Mimic a loving hug
Beautify the bearer
Lighten heavy loads
Promote good deeds
Brighten a gloomy day
Comfort a grieving spirit
Offer hope to the forlorn
Send a message of caring
Lift the downtrodden soul
Patch up invisible wounds
Weaken the hold of misery
Act as medicine for suffering
Attract the companionship of angels
Fulfill the human need for recognition

Who knew changing the world would prove so simple?

***

Love people who hate you. Pray for people who have wronged you. It won’t just change their life … it’ll change yours.

***

The world is changed not by the self-regarding, but by men and women prepared to make fools of themselves.

***

I’m just tired of feeling like the way things are is the only way they can ever be.

***

Burn so bright that the world comes to life.

***

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

***

I’m not a Starbucks guy. I’m a Dunkin Donuts guy, but I like to pay for the coffee of the other folks behind me in line. It typically costs me less than $10, and makes the other people feel good, but more importantly, it makes me feel so good, and random acts of kindness change the world, one person at a time.

***

When you are told “You cannot change the world”, it is because you are already doing it.

***

Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.

***

I believe it’s time that women truly owned their superpowers and used their beauty and strength to change the world around them.

***

We have to raise the consciousness. The only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace.

***

Kids really have a lot more power than they think they have. They have the power to change the world. And they should know it.

***

You have a mind. And you have other people. Start with those, and change the world.

***

It’s hard to tell the truth
When no one wants to listen
When no one really cares
What’s going on
And it’s hard to stand alone
When you need someone beside you
Your spirit and your faith must be strong

What one man can do is dream
What one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world
And make it young again
Here you see what one man can do

***

Age, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, personality, money
Do not matter
Do something you love