As I walked through the halls of the Holocaust Museum in Orlando, Florida yesterday,
and as I stood in silence on Remembrance Day a few days ago in British Columbia,
I was reminded of other wars, other moments in time, other places of terror and suffering:
Beirut, Syria, Paris, a school named Sandy Hook, the Twin Towers, a marathon in Boston,
Indian residential schools, slave ships, a night club in Orlando, Las Vegas, a church in Texas …
The words of Rabbi Michael Lerner “The task… at this moment is to reaffirm a different consciousness
remind ourselves that we are inextricably bound to each other and to everyone on the planet”
echoed through my mind as I drifted off to sleep last night
… remembering the lessons of the past
… wondering if we will ever truly remember and learn.
A question kept running through my thoughts last night.
That same question was still there when I awoke this morning:
© june maffin
On November 11th each year
communities across Canada gather at local Cenotaphs
people take a moment where they live, work, go to school
Remember the sacrifice of those
who have served, suffered, died on lands far away
who have served, suffered, died here at home
that we might live.
And we uphold in our remembrances
the men and women who serve today
on our behalf as part of the Canadian operations
and peacekeeping forces at home and around the world:
… Operation Artemis: Arabian Sea
… Operation Attention: Afghanistan
… Operation Calumet: Sinai Peninsula of Egypt
… Operation Crocodile: Democratic Republic of the Congo
… Operation Foundation: Tampa
… Operation Gladius: Golan Heights
… Operation Hamlet: Haiti
… Operation Jade: Middle East
… Operation Kobold: Kosovo
… Operation Proteus: Jerusalem
… Operation Saturn: Darfur
… Operation Serval: Mali
… Operation Snowgoose: Cyprus
… Operation Soprano: Republic of South Sudan
Thank you all who have served.
Thank you all who are now serving.
Than you to those who are about to serve.
We are grateful.
We will not forget.
Photo taken at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Duncan,
Text & Photo
© june maffin
What do you do when you’re stressed?
Or bored, frustrated, grieving,
angry, sad, lonely, in pain?
What do you do
for fun, for challenge, etc.?
Well, to be honest
Sometimes that creativity happens in the kitchen with food.
Sometimes it happens in the garden with earth and bulbs and plants.
Sometimes it happens in the Studio with paper and paint and cardstock.
Sometimes it happens in my recliner chair with the laptop computer.
Sometimes it happens on an airplane or the deck with yarn and fabric.
Sometimes it happens on the bus, hospital, dentist’s office with pen & ink.
But it happens.
And when it does, I discover
physical pain diminishing
emotional sadness lessening
spiritual dis-ease becoming transformed
But what if what is created turns out to be a mess?
Or not what was intended?
The old adage “give it a try” often whispers in my mind.
Like this summer when I found some records in a church fall sale
and thought I’d see what happened when I poured acrylic paint on them.
Didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.
I was going to paint over them
but then decided to try writing on them instead.
… like this one.
It “sort of” worked
… but the rough surface wasn’t easy to write on.
But that won’t stop me.
I’ll “give it a try”
… both record and Micron pen.
And in the meantime
I continue to play and create
and whatever the “it” is at the time
“give it a try.”
photo & text © June Maffin
… has been most of the day
gently dropping light flakes from the sky
over flowers that seem to be in a petrified state
by last night’s frost.
power remains on
fireplace glows with soft light and gentle warmth
soup bubbles on the stove
quiet music plays in the background
blessed to be safe and warm, fed and relaxed
but many are not
they are outdoors at night
they are outdoors during the day
they are cold and hungry and fearful
clothing can be shared
food and shelter can be provided
what to do about the emotional and spiritual
dis-ease that continues to devastate
perhaps hope can be offered
by these flowers from our garden
frozen on the vine this morning
this afternoon they were transformed
into an arrangement of unusual beauty
… the key
to open the chamber of fear
to speak to wounded hearts
to address societal wrongs
to set-free creativity and joy
to bring about reconciliation, transformation
and welcome hope.
Photo and Text © June Maffin
First power outage of the season today.
How quickly the house got cold!
But it was great preparation before the next power outage
because it will happen.
And before it does
there’s time to review and take care of
* recliner chair back-up battery system that didn’t work
* finding the extra flashlights
* learning how to make the little generator work
The portable phones didn’t work in the power outage
… so grateful I kept the old plug-in land line.
While I miss DH, Hans every single day
it’s in situations such as this that remind me
what a calming influence he was
in power outages and tsunami warnings.
Within minutes he would “take charge” of the situation.
So this afternoon, I invoked his spirit
and before I knew it
I had taken charge of the situation.
And as I did, once again
I could hear his words
“Remember, you’re stronger than you think you are.”
Our loved ones really are with us.
Just in a different way.
© Photo & Text: June Maffin
“Trick or Treat!”
as the door opens
and they hold open their bags.
“I’ve got the treats.
What trick or song or dance or joke or riddle can you give?”
Happy faces on accompanying parents.
And then the jokes come.
The dancing feet tap.
The songs erupt.
The riddles come forth:
“Why is a seagull called a seagull?
Because it flies over the sea
and if it flew over a bay
it would be called a bagel.”
A little girl, about three
recites her numbers in Spanish.
A little boy says
“I remember you and this house.
I’ve got my joke ready for you!”
And he did!
In some parts of the world, this night begins
the ancient Christian three-day observance of Allhallowtide
predated from Celtic harvest festivals such as Samhain
designed as a time to remember those who have died.
For some, Hallowe’en is a secular celebration
… carving pumpkins
… apple bobbing
… visiting haunted attractions.
For some, it’s part of their Christian religious observance
… attending church services on All Saints Day
… lighting candles in remembrance of loved ones
… visiting graves.
Whether secular or religious
Hallowe’en is a reminder that
death is a reality for all
and reminder that death need not be feared.
As the children leave with treats in their bags
… and smiles on their faces
I close the door
turn out the lights
reflect on the innocence
the fun of the night
in the faces of the children and their accompanying parents.
I extinguish the candle
inside the zendoodled pumpkin
with a wee prayer of gratitude
that a spirituality of play is still celebrated
as “shadows of a thousand years
rise again, unseen
and voices whisper in the trees
“tonight it’s All Hallow’s Eve!”
Photo & Text © June Maffin
How I love the ornamental cherry tree in our front yard.
In the springtime, its blossoms are bountiful.
In winter, its branches bend as snow falls.
In summer, its leaves invite all to experience its shade.
And now, as it sheds its colourful leaves on the gentle winding stone path,
Mother Nature creates a beautiful and welcoming Leaf Carpet.
In every season, the cherry tree is beautiful!
‘Tis a gentle reminder that whether we are
… in the spring, summer, fall or winter of our lives
© June Maffin