Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thanks Mary!

Mary has some really good ideas for "Horton Hears a Who" re my post Quite the Quote. Thanks for sharing Mary.Keep those quotes coming! here are some other Dr Seuss ideas to try.

Friday, April 25, 2008


In rememberance of those who "took a stand"; lest we forget

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
--Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984)Dachau Concentration Camp survivor

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quite the quote!

Okay I admit it sounds a bit trite but q isn't the easiest letter to work with .
Still all that aside I am inviting readers of this blog to share from their current readings passages that have impressed them, made a difference to their life or just plain made them laugh.I have another one ready(hint its another children's author[is this genre all I read these days!]and has nothing to do with the plot of the book which is..."Down in the Cellar" by Nicholas Stuart Gray) You can link to a blog posting of your quote on your blog in the comments section if you like or just put your quote in the comments.

Listen to the Nightingale

Once upon a time- a hundred years ago the smallest children at Holbein’s believed- Madame had been Niura, a little Russian girl living in the country with her grandmother.” ’ Niura,’she used to tell me,” Madame in turn told the children,” ‘listen to the nightingale.’
“Why did she tell you to listen to the nightingale?” asked Archie, an inquisitive boy.
“I think she was trying to tell me that, though I was a dancer first and foremost, there are still other things in the world that I should need- yes, need,” said Madame.
“What sort of things?”
“Oh, cats and dogs, flowers, books, parties, wine and people of course. All things far removed from Lottie. We all need them and I have listened to nightingales and their kind ever since.”
From “Listen to the Nightingale” by Rumer Godden

Lottie is a little girl who has been primed from birth to be a dancer.
Dancing is her life and the expectation that this is to be the focus of her life is emphasized by all those around her.
How Lottie incorporates nightingales in her life forms the theme of the story
I picked this book up to take on a recent trip across the Tasman for “light” reading.
But I knew that because it was written by Rumer Godden it would also have something to say to my soul.
“Listen to the Nightingale” is one of the author’s children’s books.
Until now I have mainly read her adult fiction and biographies. I think the book itself was one of “their kind” for me but it also gave me permission to actively seek other nightingales.
I am a wife and mother. I believe God has called me to these vocations. These are if you like the focus, direction of my life. I could not and indeed it would not be right if I were to devote my time to themes outside these were God not to call me!!.
But the small and important secret is that as I nourish my soul with nightingales my focus or life’s direction is also fed; coloured in if you like by the other experiences I bring to it.

I think this wise fictional grandmother was reminding me that my life can become overly obsessionally directed in its focus if I don’t. How can being a mother, wife become an obsessional focus?
Well I’m thinking I suppose of the homeschooling aspect of mothering where without moving from my chair my eyes graze over titles such as “Ten things Parents must teach their children” “Babies Need Books” “”For the Children’s Sake” ”Education in the Heart of the Home” ”Designing your own classical curriculum” “Beyond Survival” ”Let us Highly Resolve”. Many of these books are favourite friends, and ones I would wholeheartedly recommend to those starting their homeschooling journey, they help me to stay focused.
But a focus needs diversions to survive, to stay fresh and to grow stronger.
Without it the converse applies dryness, burnout being some of the effects.
How have I applied this quote this week? Where are my nightingales? Well since returning home last Thursday I would count the following: a walk Sunday afternoon amongst “wonderfilled” plants. (You should have seen the colours of those dahlias and the shapes those melons could grow into!) with a close friend(thank you Mary)
Noting how Autumn is at last touching our district ,rejoicing in the vibrant reds on our otherwise ordinary trees that dot one of the main roads in our suburb as we drive to Mass. Savoring a cup of white tea(a sweet and subtle flavour from the Fujian mountains). Closing my eyes and remembering the smile, the hug, the touch received from my family.
Listening and watching the birds that visit our yard; such tiny delicate honey eaters come to drink nectar from our parched garden(amazing that they can find nourishment; take joy in the cycles of life).
I remember reading not so long ago how for one woman one of her nightingales was actually her salvation; turned her life around, drew her away from the obsessions in her mind gave her permission to start again. Try it!