Friday, August 8, 2014
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Herman J M Nouwen
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
E K Ross
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
“I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.”
“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.”
On today’s Irish Independent, a story splashed across its front pages that one would hope does not define what good journalism is about. Written in a way more suited to The National Enquirer in style and substance that a reasonably respected national newspaper that claims to out sell the rest, it begs credibility.
Its banner headline read: Gang boss burns out garda sergeant’s car while he plays football. It continued that Gardai launched a major investigation after a car, a Toyota Corolla, belonging to a ‘popular sergeant' was burnt- out in a grudge attack linked to gangland thugs. I suspect it was more about the football game than anything else if one was to dismiss without prejudice the ground breaking journalism that Ken Foy attempts here. Ken must be in love with this anonymous Sergeant/ victim for he then describes him as a highly –respected officer. Not so for the anonymous/ fictitious/businessman/men/perpetrators.
The gang leader apparently is called ‘The businessman’ except perhaps when he is not doing business. He was easily irritated, according to Ken, when detectives were putting their nose where they shouldn’t into what that was, as in drugs of the illegal kind. You see the gang have being doing it for years, burning cars that is, and it is their modus operandi if they do not like you, and being innocent has nothing to do with it. They must not have heard about third party, fire and theft insurance yet.
The businessman is also ‘suspected’ of murder, the theft of 29 firearms and that his crime domain stretches from the east to the south of the country. How does the Gardai and Ken know all this? ‘A source’ whispered in their ears, or his newspaper by mitigating circumstances should this story blow up over the lot of them. The source also told them about that football game that happens with mind numbing and boring regularity every Monday evening.
Aside from the burnt out car, only wounded pride was lost in the match, but like any feisty team, the Gardai have considered this attack as ‘just not cricket’ and have declared it not as a criminal act but a “declaration of war.” (Now there is no need to get personal) ‘Sources’ also say that the Gardai, as team players of course, intend to clamp down heavier on the anonymous gang/businessmen as well.
What I write here can be construed as an open letter to the Businessman: I suspect that either the Gardai are all on the drugs you are selling, or there is a fit-up on the way. Proceed with caution. The business suit you are wearing today may well be replaced by one with stripes tomorrow. In the meantime, watch out for your own car at football matches, make sure it has fire and theft insurance, and you are not in it when it goes up in flames. Second thoughts, get a bicycle.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
The domestic and indeed the commercial kitchen does more damage to the environment collectively than almost any other. What trickles from the home and into our sewers on it’s way to the ocean is a pollution tsunami on a daily basics, and almost all of it coming from toxic domestic cleaning agents. But if one is serious about doing their bit in trying to help within the confines of their home and surroundings, doing it differently is being aware of the alternatives.
The bananas skin inside layer is good for cleaning leather, and Cola, that contains acid, is great for cleaning toilets. Like any detergent, just let it sit for about 60 minutes and it will do your dirty work.
Mayonnaise is great for removing marks off wood. Leave it on the marks for a little while then remove with a clean cloth. Tomato ketchup works very well on brass and silver, and like any cleaning agent, rub it in and leave awhile then clean it off.
Brazil nuts is a good scratch remover by cutting it in half and sanding over the affected area. Soon, it will smooth down and the scratches will be gone.
Grapefruit a limescale remover: using the same method of cutting it in half and then sprinkling it with salt. Scrub the affected area and rinse with water and it will vanish.
For odour remover in the fridge: Place ground coffee into a small plastic tub with holes in the lid. After a short while the odour will be gone.
A cautionary note: One time I was given an old penny found on a building site in Dublin. The markings looked faded and I could not even make out the date. So I got the penny and put it into a bowl that had a mixture of coca cola and red sauce in it. I stirred it around in there for about ten to fifteen minutes. When I took out the old penny it looked almost new and I could clearly see the date: 1668. It also had the shape of a harp with a crown on top stamped on it’s face, clearly symbolizing British rule over Ireland.
Afterwards, I thought then and now, that if these two popular items made for human consumption can do that to an old penny, what is it doing to our internal organs over time. These two items for cleaning agents, yes, but for internal consumption for me is a resounding NO.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
In 2013, Dairygold, that butter making company we all love, and whose turnover is over €780 million a year, was only fined €12,000 for ‘accidentally’ killing over 20,000 fish in the Kiltha River in east Cork. A mere irritant as a fly on a hot day for them and so the poor precedent of penalties for severe pollution goes on in this country.
Within the past two weeks in Ireland two instances of severe lake pollution has happened and both by two red neck farmers that carry low moral character and very high ignorance in equal amounts. Farmers, so they often tell us, have a love of the land, they are in harmony with it, it is more than a job, it is a vocation and all that load of bolox; I’m afraid that love of ‘The Field’ does not extend to our countries lakes, rivers, inlets, and seas by many other farmers.
In Limerick last week, 650 salmon and trout died in the River Loobagh. The farmer who was the cause of this destruction dumped a lorry load of slurry into it. One fisherman said that it was the worst fish kill by deliberate pollution that he had seen in 37 years. There was a lot more to come around the corner.
More than another 1000 fish that included trout, sticklebacks and roach are among the dead in the Oona River in Co. Tyrone since yesterday, and this was also caused by another thick farmer, otherwise called an “agricultural source” by the environmental agency, and they have as much say as a fish and as much teeth in the matter as a set of plastic dentures.
When and if these two ‘thickos’ are ever called to the bar of justice, the most that they will face is 3 month’s in prison or the fine of €25,000 (which is about 25 cows on a bad day) which stretches all the boundaries of optimism that they would actually face such a penalty. The reality is that these ‘thickos’ know the law is an ass and because of it they are encouraged to pollute with impunity as concern or conscience has nothing to with their state of mind. It is only when you hit their state of pocket with more severe penalties going all the way up to confiscating their land, and without compensation of it’s loss, will fear and doubt stalk their future attacks on our rivers and of the land itself.
No land is unfettered and these ‘red necks’ are not immune from the law and not even ‘the law of the land’ should be their defense of ignorance. Take away their ‘fields’ and you take away the problem.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Dialling 999 is the phone call that no one would wish to make and today it is more likely to be made by a mobile phone. The problem for many it is the mobile phone that had caused the emergency in the first place, and for others it has the power to kill or save a life.
With features on our phone today that would have been the envy of many a space station just a few decades ago, makes the trusty cellular phone a must have with ever more demand for something even better, and just when it seemed that it could not be any more sophisticated along comes a new app or feature to boggle the mind. It has become an old friend, our book club, an instant messenger, and an irritant if you do not want to be found but cannot bring yourself to turn it off. And Facetime might not be a good idea if you are having an affair or down in the pub when you had promised to bring your partner out for that special dinner. Still it is something that we want to live and love with that be without.
When the cellular phone came out first it was comical to see people talking into a phone when there was no one else at the other end of it. Others stared at it with a telepathic hopefulness that it would ring, and when it did not they felt that they were unloved or less of a person or just plain lonely. In Columbia people drove around in their cars or bicycles with their mobile phones to their ears, except these devices were made of wood. It was not a breakthrough technology just a clever veneer imitation of a mobile phone such was the wish to look cool or rich.
Today mobile phones can be included as a freebie if you order an extra portion of French fries or two large size pizza’s instead of one, and often the reception is better with these than the sleek lined expensive designer brands. The latter carry Facebook to make us feel loved with hundreds if not thousands of friends online at any one time even though it suspends reality that you would be lucky if you have just one. Caring is sharing or so they buy into, and yet it drives teenagers on the cusp of living to despair when acceptance seems the most important thing in life and anything less can mean death by their own hand.
Texting has taken the well crafted words of the ages handed down by learned scribes, artists, and writers to the level of the short utterances of uneducated apes. The energy it takes to write ‘you’ replaced by ‘u’ underlining the hurry in going nowhere fast and the texting acronym for ‘Problem exists between keyboard and chair’ is PEBKAC makes the English language beloved by Shakespeare and his fan club all but dead. Where will it all end?
Monday, August 4, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
“Nothing is permanently perfect. But there are perfect moments and the will to choose what will bring about more perfect moments.”
“There are moments in life when it is all turned inside out--what is real becomes unreal, what is unreal becomes tangible, and all your levelheaded efforts to keep a tight ontological control are rendered silly and indulgent.”
“It's only natural to feel lonely after the enjoyable moments pass. But as you experience new joys those feelings of sorrow will start to fade.”
“I think humans are only capable of small moments of honesty. Then they get tired and back away. It's something to foster, this ability to keep it for longer. How to keep being honest and aware.”
Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!”
“Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well-spent moments every day.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
“Every moment is the paradox of now or never.”
Simon Van Booy
“We must try to remember everything, every movement, every stretch, every convulsion that made us how we move as we readily grow in our outer body that encompasses the planets, the suns and the moons in every other body that we touch, in every other mouth that we kissed, in every other language that we try to comprehend; for they are not the outside of a stranger, nor are they just images of our psyche, but the very being of ourselves, the dimensional levels of our very existence weaving colours in the tapestry of creation, yet the very non-existence of the template is proof of consciousness, of ascension, of Life.”
“I think that dying is the easy part of life; for in waking each day and living in every moment, therein lies the challenge”
“There are times...when we are in the midst of life-moments of confrontation with birth or death, or moments of beauty when nature or love is fully revealed, or moments of terrible loneliness-times when a holy and awesome awareness comes upon us. It may come as deep inner stillness or as a rush of overflowing emotion. It may seem to come from beyond us, without any provocation, or from within us, evoked by music or by a sleeping child. If we open our hearts at such moments, creation reveals itself to us in all it's unity and fullness. And when we return from such a moment of awareness, our hearts long to find some way to capture it in words forever, so that we can remain faithful to it's higher truth.
...When my people search for a name to give to the truth we feel at those moments, we call it God, and when we capture that understanding in timeless poetry, we call it praying.”
Mary Doria Russell