RELATING THE PERVIOUSLY UNRELATED

It has been said that creativity is the putting together of two previously unrelated things. Or as W. I. B. Beveridge put it: “Originality often consists in linking up ideas whose connection was not previously suspected.”  | W. I. B. Beveridge, The Art of Scientific Investigation (1957).

Watch this short video. Be patient and make sure you watch through, to the very end. Once upon a time the clarinet was referred to as a licorice stick.  Linsey Pollak’s bright orange carrot clarinet is, I think, much cooler … the sound is great, and it is edible!

What two previously unrelated things have you brought together in recent days?  Remember … you too are called to be creative!

THE CONTAINER AND THE CONTENT

THE CONTAINER AND THE CONTENT

A local journalist called and asked me “ What would you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet?” Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the first thing I would do is call a plumber!”When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in me that that was the most sensible answer he had…

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WORDS THAT CREATE COMMUNITY
The word is always a word for others.  Words need to be heard.  When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to.  A speaker needs a listener.  A writer needs a reader.
 When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop.  When we say,  “Let me tell you what we saw.  Come and listen to what we did.  Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us.  Wait until you hear whom we met,”  we call people together and make our lives into lives for others.   The word brings us together and calls us into community.  When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people. 
Question:  Do your words divide or unite? 
Quotation |  Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith. (Entry for June 25) 
Word art | Philip Chircop

WORDS THAT CREATE COMMUNITY

The word is always a word for others.  Words need to be heard.  When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to.  A speaker needs a listener.  A writer needs a reader.

 When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop.  When we say,  “Let me tell you what we saw.  Come and listen to what we did.  Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us.  Wait until you hear whom we met,”  we call people together and make our lives into lives for others.   The word brings us together and calls us into community.  When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people. 

Question:  Do your words divide or unite? 

Quotation |  Henri NouwenBread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith(Entry for June 25) 

Word art | Philip Chircop

WORDS THAT COME FROM THE HEART
Words that do not become flesh in us remain “just words.” They have  no power to affect our lives.  If someone says, “I love you” without meaning it, such words do more harm than  good.  But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.
It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words. Our great temptation is to become “pleasers,” people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no root in their interior lives.  We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts.  The best way to do that is in prayerful silence.
Quotation |  Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith. (Entry for June 23)
Image | An ad for Australian Post by M&C Saatchi, Melbourne, Australia

WORDS THAT COME FROM THE HEART

Words that do not become flesh in us remain “just words.” They have  no power to affect our lives.  If someone says, “I love you” without meaning it, such words do more harm than  good.  But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.

It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words. Our great temptation is to become “pleasers,” people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no root in their interior lives.  We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts.  The best way to do that is in prayerful silence.

Quotation |  Henri NouwenBread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith. (Entry for June 23)

Image | An ad for Australian Post by M&C Saatchi, Melbourne, Australia

TWO BAGELS

On the morning after Napoleon had won one of his most important battles, he summoned the commanders of his various legions to a pompous ceremony in his war-room to reward their bravery in battle.

The commander of the Bavarian troops stepped forward, fell to one knee before his king and declared: “I ask for autonomy for Bavaria!”

“So it shall be!”proclaimed the Emperor to the ministers and…

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HOW TO BE A PILGRIM

image

Air travel is like
ancient pilgrims walking on their

knees, flight delays and narrow seats
offer their own kind of penance.

You jettison excess baggage,
leaving behind the heavy makeup case,
knowing the rain will
wash you free of artifice.

Books you wanted to carry left too,
no more outside words needed,
then go old beliefs which keep
you taut and twisted inside.

Blistered feet stumble over rocky
fields covered with wildflowers and you
realize this is your life,
full of sharp stones and color.

Red-breasted robins call forth
the song already inside,
a hundred griefs break open under
dark clouds and downpour.

Rise and fall of elation and exhaustion,
the tides a calendar of unfolding,
a bright star rises and you remember
a loved one waiting miles away.

A new hunger is kindled by the sight of
cows nursing calves in a field,
spying a spotted pony, you forget
the weight and seriousness of things.

Salmon swim across the Atlantic,
up the River Corrib’s rapids to the
wide lake, and you wonder if you have
also been called here for death and birth.

This is why we journey:
to retrieve our lost intimacy with the world,
every creature a herald of poems
that sleep in streams and stones.

“Missing you” scrawled on a postcard sent home,
but you don’t follow with
"wish you were here."
This is a voyage best made alone.

Christine Valters Paintner

TAKING IT FURTHER

With the summer solstice just a mere couple of days behind us, Christine invites us to ask these questions:

  • What journeys are calling to you?
  • How might you awaken to the way the world is inviting you deeper into yourself?
  • Can you offer up a holy pause at this threshold time to savor and remember?

TRANSFORMATION OR DEFORMATION
I missed my flight today. I had twenty minutes between flights and I knew it was going to be impossible to make it on time to catch the connecting flight that would have taken me to Malta.
I could easily have transformed (or rather, deformed) what until now was “a breeze”, into “a storm” … and what until now was early morning “silence”, into “words”, most probably angry and anxious words that I would have regretted later.
Instead I stepped back and took a few deep breathes and then approached the counter with the best genuine smile I could muster and asked for another ticket. The lady at the desk said: “we can send you to Malta on the next flight, early this afternoon. In the meantime you can go to the lounge and have something to eat.”
And here I am at the Lufthansa Lounge at the Frankfurt airport nibbling on sausages dipped in mustard downed with a glass of chilled champagne! 
Now I have to get up and go lest I miss this flight too. But before I leave, here are some questions one can ask when  tempted to awfulise or catastrophes:
What makes the situation so terrible, awful or horrible?
Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?
Are you exaggerating the importance of this problem?
Do you have any reason to think you might be blowing things out of proportion here?

TRANSFORMATION OR DEFORMATION

I missed my flight today. I had twenty minutes between flights and I knew it was going to be impossible to make it on time to catch the connecting flight that would have taken me to Malta.

I could easily have transformed (or rather, deformed) what until now was “a breeze”, into “a storm” … and what until now was early morning “silence”, into “words”, most probably angry and anxious words that I would have regretted later.

Instead I stepped back and took a few deep breathes and then approached the counter with the best genuine smile I could muster and asked for another ticket. The lady at the desk said: “we can send you to Malta on the next flight, early this afternoon. In the meantime you can go to the lounge and have something to eat.”

And here I am at the Lufthansa Lounge at the Frankfurt airport nibbling on sausages dipped in mustard downed with a glass of chilled champagne! 

Now I have to get up and go lest I miss this flight too. But before I leave, here are some questions one can ask when  tempted to awfulise or catastrophes:

  • What makes the situation so terrible, awful or horrible?
  • Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?
  • Are you exaggerating the importance of this problem?
  • Do you have any reason to think you might be blowing things out of proportion here?

ARE YOU ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE?
Even if you do not belong to a church or to any organized religion or philosophy of life, this, I think, is a cartoon worth reflecting upon.
What are you doing on a daily basis to remember that you are not alone but a vital part of a mesmerizing and beautiful cosmic story for ever unfolding?

ARE YOU ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE?

Even if you do not belong to a church or to any organized religion or philosophy of life, this, I think, is a cartoon worth reflecting upon.

What are you doing on a daily basis to remember that you are not alone but a vital part of a mesmerizing and beautiful cosmic story for ever unfolding?

SEASONS
Even though my few days in Ireland where mostly a blessing of blue skies and sunshine, sometimes laced with white and grey clouds, this simple postcard caught my attention.
It brought back to memory a lovely image used by Daniel Berrigan SJ when he spoke about Church.  He said the Church "protects us from the cold rain;  sometimes it opens too slowly and we get rained on.  Often it is not very efficient.  Still, it is there and I would not want to do without it."
What do you think?
Illustration | Joanna Zalech and Alex Kieldanowicz at Olyart

SEASONS

Even though my few days in Ireland where mostly a blessing of blue skies and sunshine, sometimes laced with white and grey clouds, this simple postcard caught my attention.

It brought back to memory a lovely image used by Daniel Berrigan SJ when he spoke about Church.  He said the Church "protects us from the cold rain;  sometimes it opens too slowly and we get rained on.  Often it is not very efficient.  Still, it is there and I would not want to do without it."

What do you think?

Illustration | Joanna Zalech and Alex Kieldanowicz at Olyart

FREED FROM SELF-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS
Why must the goose fly north? Ask the arctic tern why he must go from the top to the bottom of the world every year. As for us humans, we must do the things that free us from self-imposed limitations. I am doing my own thing. My own way. My own time. I think that’s legitimate. I am doing what I must do to be true to myself and my nature. | from Roderick MacIver, The Journey Itself Is Home
What are you doing on a daily basis to be true to yourself and your nature?
Art | Arctic Tern, Watercolor on paper by Roderick MacIver

FREED FROM SELF-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS

Why must the goose fly north? Ask the arctic tern why he must go from the top to the bottom of the world every year. As for us humans, we must do the things that free us from self-imposed limitations. I am doing my own thing. My own way. My own time. I think that’s legitimate. I am doing what I must do to be true to myself and my nature. | from Roderick MacIverThe Journey Itself Is Home

What are you doing on a daily basis to be true to yourself and your nature?

Art | Arctic TernWatercolor on paper by Roderick MacIver