All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author. Thanks.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The hardest thing of all, forgiveness

I am thinking this morning of how to approach forgiveness - not for the victims - they don't need this, though they need a lot of other forms of loving.  But for the abusers - bullies, those who seem callous, those who seem to have pleasure out of hurting others.  Not to understand them, (abusers) but to find a place to at least begin to look for their humanity under the evil that we see.

Many of us lead some kind of spiritual life.  We usually include love as an outgrowth of our connection to the greatest to the least of our blessings.  But when it comes to considering the most evil of the human creation, we usually prefer to either a) forget them or b) (and most usually this is the outlook that is prevalent) just consider that these are people in league with the devil and therefore hate them.  Punish them for the crime, but mainly hate them.

In my practice, I try to consider that there is good in everything, and everyone.  So how do I find a way to love those who commit crimes?  I start by saying, I'll just consider that maybe it's possible to forgive them.  Not today.  Today I'll just consider a possibility.  And maybe in many years (centuries?) to come, there will be a way of finding forgiveness.

What will that look like? My own path gave me several abusive people around me.  The child abuse was the most difficult to consider forgiveness.  I really hoped he'd die before I had to actually forgive him.  Well, it's not that I'd ever go up to him and say "You are forgiven." So what was the purpose of this aim?

It's to let go of a clinching, a roped off part, of my own heart.

It looks like a loosening of those ropes on my own looks like seeing his eyes and that that person's idea of love was wrong, but it was still a form of love.  Ouch.  There is the limit of where I am today.  But in over 3 decades, I've finally arrived here.

And here's a writing (perhaps a poem) that speaks of forgiving the abusers.  Today I'm using it in considering some people who have been brainwashed by those who abuse, and these followers are perpetuating the lies today, which is certainly difficult for me to understand.  I can't forgive them. I do hold them responsible for their actions (including their words.) I can only hope to remember the good, which might still be somewhere in their beings.  I have long ago learned to set my own psychic shields to protect myself from abusers.  Working on my own healing has let me move away from being vulnerable as part of interactions with abusive people.
Kuan Yin’s Prayer for the Abuser
To those who withhold refuge,
I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being.
To those that cause a child to cry out,
I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony.
To those that inflict terror,
I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns.
To those who would confine, suppress, or deny,
I offer the limitless expanse of the sky.
To those who need to cut, slash, or burn,
I remind you of the invincibility of Spring.
To those who cling and grasp,
I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto.
To those who vent their rage on small children,
I return to you your deepest innocence.
To those who must frighten into submission,
I hold you in the bosom of your original mother.
To those who cause agony to others,
I give the gift of free flowing tears.
To those that deny another’s right to be,
I remind you that the angels sang
in celebration of you on the day of your birth.
To those who see only division and separateness,
I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole.
For those who have forgotten
the tender mercy of a mother’s embrace,
I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow.
To those who still feel somehow incomplete,
I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.
copied from Facebook posting 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Enjoying summertime blooms

I love the cascades of day lilies here at our apartment complex!

Ok the last one is a day lily.
But what are those lovely purple ones? I wonder if they're related to asters....

Here's Stokesia which I found on line (Thanks for comment giving the name, PotterMiller)
Rufino Osorio: Stokesia laevis – Stokes-Aster

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The rest of the tiny vases - or shot glasses?

 I was interested in the 2 yellows which are background to the strange black lines. I won't be using that glaze pen again!

 The Jade color looks good on the white clay!

There were a few other tests which I didn't like, so am not bothering to photograph, and actually the little pieces (as well as the glazes) have gone in the trash!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mugs for Monday

The Georgia O'Keeffe style...some bright poppies, and these will cheer up anyone's day!
Hand painted with Mayco Stroke N Coat glazes. There were no decals used, which a comment on Facebook brought to my attention.  Decals are great, but not for me...I want each object to be a piece of different art, not a manufactured item in any way.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tiny vases with different faces

Small cup with infinity in red on one face, then some pretty brown grasses on the other three sides...
Some different looks for a simple little vase...which is colorful all the way around...the next 3 photos are the same vase!

Tiny love cup, with little curls and swirls of brown on the rest of the white surface.

A test of a chocolate brown underglaze, simple little vase.

Yes these glazes are all food safe. The clay is Laguna's B-Mix. White liner is our studio's Satin White.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Are you suicidal?

the following is taken from National Institutes of Mental Health


Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 40,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States; it is the 10th leading cause of death overall. Suicide is complicated and tragic but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.

Signs and Symptoms

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.
  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will
If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. One resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

This whole post was triggered by an interesting couple of videos posted on a newlsetter which I get daily from Open Culture, HERE, about the causes of Suicide.

I must admit the sputter of surprise when I asked a friend over lunch the other day, "Have you ever felt suicidal?"  After a moment of stunned silence she did tell me her answer.  And I said I'd be posting about it (suicide) on my blog because of the Open Culture link.  She asked for that as well so I've sent it to her.

Plus it's mental health week (said someone over on FB)

Let's talk about it!


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flower Bridge and its art

Looking across the highway, which now goes on a new bridge so the flower bridge uses the old roadbed, there's Chimney Rock.

 There are whimsical art pieces throughout the garden on the bridge.

Even the stepping stones are art!