My Husk

GWENDIE

Sometimes I feel like my husk, my body, is getting ready to shed, leaving only “me”—my core, my soul, my essence—behind. And where will I be then? Or maybe the question should be, what happens to the core “me”? Some would say heaven or hell. Others would say the essence returns to the universe in some other form. Others say that “I” will be born again, perhaps as some lower being, perhaps as a more enlightened being. Some might believe that, after death on this planet, the soul returns to somewhere in space where it originated. All those ideas are attractive to me in some ways, but not completely satisfactory. I have a very hard time “believing” in anything that takes place after I’m gone from this earth. Even though I take on faith that electricity makes the light bulb glow, and I can’t see electricity. But then, almost everyone agrees (has been taught) about electricity. But not everyone agrees about what happens after the body, the husk, has been shucked.

My body, the body I’ve never been all that fond of, has proved to be much more resilient than I every imagined it could be. It has survived, although with considerable wear and tear, numerous and considerable assaults—from chemotherapy and radiation and immune disease and countless episodic drugs for infections and “conditions” like gastrointestinal upsets of various kinds. I should be more appreciative of this body, this husk that protects the real me, as best it can. There’s only so much an old husk (I am 70, after all) can do to beat off the many threats to its integrity. There comes a time when rejuvenation, or return to the original state, is no longer possible. That’s where my body is now. And I find myself (the real me) frustrated with this. I miss the good old days when I could come down with something and then get over it. There’s no getting over it anymore. As one of my friends says, now it’s just all patch, patch, patch. Making do with the “new normal”, which changes frequently as my body deals, successfully or not so much, with new challenges—new drugs, new problems in the body, new attitudes in the “real me.”

Lately, I’ve noticed that the general culture has picked up on the insight that positivity is a good thing. And that “being present” can relieve stress. So we have lots of platitudes posted on websites and sent in emails and embroidered on pillows and printed on greeting cards, and in fact, just about everywhere. Be here now. Smile, God loves you. Love is the answer. But I’m still stuck on shit happens! And that’s how I view the wearing down of my body, my husk. It’s just one of those things. Shit happens. And as to what will happen to me, my core, my essence when my body, my husk fails totally, well, it’s always good to have a little mystery in your life.

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Sadhvi Sez: Feeling the Squares and the Staples

URANUS AND PLUTO

It’s an interesting time on the planet, astrologically.  I mean, having Uranus and Pluto in a square is nothing to sneeze at.  I don’t know how you’re experiencing this, but the people close to me are dealing with lots of problems.  Like what used to be things that were coming up once a year or so has become a daily thing.
So it was nice to read what Sitara, and astrologer, had to say on this aspect, and if you click HERE you’ll be able to read it too.

What to expect?  A thrilling changeful time, full of surprises and mind-boggling turns. Whoever goes into it openly and flexibly will be richly rewarded. Security and consistency, however, will be available only for those who are ready to let go the known and search for what conforms to their very own insight – even if it contradicts all former experiences and understandings.”  Sitara

Hey, when times get intense, I turn to music.  Good music.

I can remember when we had parties in college, and someone got up to put an album on the record player, they’d ask, “What should I play?”
And we’d all say, “Somethin’ good”.
So when I recently asked a friend what her favorite music was in the moment, she said, “Oh, I’d have to say one thing I’ve seen and really enjoyed was The Band singing “The Weight” with the Staple Singers comes to mind – it’s good.”  So knowing her taste is the same as mine, I looked it up.  Sure enough, Melinda was right.
I’ve seen the movie, The Last Waltz, done by Martin Scorsese, but it’s been a while.  I suggest you watch the clip below, and if you don’t think it’s the best thing today, I will be surprised!
I hope you are taking some time to do things you like to do this Summer.
Enjoy!

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Sadhvi Sez: It’s Summer!

Today is the official first day of Summer, so I thought I would take you on a little flower trip through my spring garden.

The Osho News site has done a nice job of taking my pictures and making them into a slide show.

This past Spring was truly more like summer, but since it is my favorite season, I really savor it, no matter how it’s served up by Mother Nature.  It’s kind of like life: I am starting to get into it more, enjoying the ride, really.  Maybe it’s the nice thing about getting older? You start to realize that it’s all about squeezing the juice out of life.  Just click on the picture of the flowers below and enjoy!

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Sadhvi Sez:

SADHVI

I don’t remember watching Mister Rogers when I was a kid.  I always thought he was kind of strange; his voice was too nice, the kind of voice that I didn’t trust.  It turns out that he was just being himself, and since he was on TV for such a long time (1968-2001) influencing a lot of kids, there must have been some magic in him.

He is no longer with us, but lives on thanks to  at PBS, who made this remix, and now, Mister Rogers has gone viral! 

  • The video has been viewed on YouTube more than 4 million times.  Last weekend it was the #1
  • On the PBS Facebook page, the video has been shared more than 3,400 times, has earned more than 2,000 likes and generated more than 160 comments.
  • Celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alyssa Milano, Morgan Spurlock and Guy Kawasaki have shared the video with their many Twitter followers.

I really liked it. Enjoy.

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Untitled

SADHVI

I don’t remember watching Mister Rogers when I was a kid.  I always thought he was kind of strange; his voice was too nice, the kind of voice that I didn’t trust.  It turns out that he was just being himself, and since he was on TV for such a long time (1968-2001) influencing a lot of kids, there must have been some magic in him.

He is no longer with us, but lives on thanks to  at PBS, who made this remix, and now, Mister Rogers has gone viral! 

  • The video has been viewed on YouTube more than 4 million times.  Last weekend it was the #1
  • On the PBS Facebook page, the video has been shared more than 3,400 times, has earned more than 2,000 likes and generated more than 160 comments.
  • Celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alyssa Milano, Morgan Spurlock and Guy Kawasaki have shared the video with their many Twitter followers.

I really liked it. Enjoy.

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Bee Gees

“Feel I’m going back to Massachusetts…something’s telling me I must go home. And the lights all went out in Massachusetts the day I left her standing on her own.”

Another Bee Gee is dead, and I’m depressed.  When Robin Gibb died recently, it got me thinking about the big chunk of my life that is forever tied to Bee Gees songs.  I am not one of those Johnny-Come-Lately’s that discovered the Bee Gees with Saturday Night Fever and disco.  For me, the importance of the Bee Gees’ music started way before John Travolta ever thought of putting on a white polyester suit.

In 1965, when I was 12, my family moved (our second tour overseas) to an Army post in Landstuhl, Germany. Since my parents wanted me to become fluent in German, they enrolled me in a school in town, a Gymnasium–the kind of school that prepares German students for the university. I entered the school as a rising 7th grader but was quickly demoted to the 4th grade because of the language barrier. But the principal of the school, a very kind and generous man, agreed to let me try to gradually work my way back up to my age level. With the help of tutors, understanding teachers, and very friendly fellow students, I was able, over the next 3 years, to catch up with my grade again—so that when I came back to the States, I could enter high school.

So this was a stressful time for me. School was tough. The language barrier was immense. The school itself was extremely challenging. It was hard staying up late every night, translating my homework before I could begin to complete it. It was tough navigating cultural differences. But the Gymnasium was also a wonderful place. My classmates made me feel accepted into their world. Almost all of my teachers treated me with patience and kindness. And, although I was given special treatment at first, the best part of the whole experience was when people stopped giving that special treatment and started expecting the same level of work from me that they expected from the other students.

Weaving through all the good times and bad times–the stress, the expectations, and the confusion on one hand, the fun on the other– were the songs of the Bee Gees.

Robin and Brothers in the Early Days

I attended my first dance and danced my first slow dance—with a very handsome eighth grader, an “older guy” named Michael Krick who was actually my age, unlike the boys in my class—to the lyrics of “Words”: “Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me….”  I dreamed long daydreams about kissing that same boy to “To Love Somebody” (“You don’t know what’it’s like to love somebody to love somebody the way I love you.”)  I worried about an endless drama with a mean girl in my class (some things transcend cultural differences)  to “I Started a Joke” (“Oh, but I didn’t see that the joke was on me!”)   I later mooned over my best friend’s brother, who was also our very glamorous newspaper delivery boy, to “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.” And when I worried about leaving Germany and going back to the States, the words of “World” played in my head.  (“Tomorrow…where in the world will I be tomorrow?  How far am I able to see?”)

The Bee Gees are so much a part of that whole time for me, that time of excitement and longing and restless imagining—that when I hear one of their songs start up, I get transported right back to the  EisCafe Dolomiten , where, in the 8th grade (my last year in Germany) everyone met up after school to eat Italian ice and flirt.

I was sad to see Robin go.  There is something way too jarring about having two Bee Gees dead.  I felt the same way when George Harrison died.  It’s one thing to lose a childhood icon to a tragic, untimely death–like John Lennon–but somehow it’s a lot harder when someone just dies, from some regular old disease, just  like the rest of us.

Robin, as I Remember Him

I have to say:  I kind of wish that famous singers or movie stars of our youth would disappear or retire, right at the height of their fame, never to be heard from again.  I didn’t really want to hear about Paul McCartney turning 64, and I sure as hell don’t want to watch The Eagles totter out in front of me on stage.  I don’t care how good they sound.  There’s something disturbing about watching old dudes with wrinkles and white hair sing songs that I associate with being 14 or 15.

I guess I prefer to think of all of my childhood idols as young, handsome, and vibrant–the way they were back then, when I was living my life with a constant soundtrack of the Bee Gees in my head.

My First Actual Album

 

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Jane

“Feel I’m going back to Massachusetts…something’s telling me I must go home. And the lights all went out in Massachusetts the day I left her standing on her own.”

Another Bee Gee is dead, and I’m depressed.  When Robin Gibb died recently, it got me thinking about the big chunk of my life that is forever tied to Bee Gees songs.  I am not one of those Johnny-Come-Lately’s that discovered the Bee Gees with Saturday Night Fever and disco.  For me, the importance of the Bee Gees’ music started way before John Travolta ever thought of putting on a white polyester suit.

In 1965, when I was 12, my family moved (our second tour overseas) to an Army post in Landstuhl, Germany. Since my parents wanted me to become fluent in German, they enrolled me in a school in town, a Gymnasium–the kind of school that prepares German students for the university. I entered the school as a rising 7th grader but was quickly demoted to the 4th grade because of the language barrier. But the principal of the school, a very kind and generous man, agreed to let me try to gradually work my way back up to my age level. With the help of tutors, understanding teachers, and very friendly fellow students, I was able, over the next 3 years, to catch up with my grade again—so that when I came back to the States, I could enter high school.

So this was a stressful time for me. School was tough. The language barrier was immense. The school itself was extremely challenging. It was hard staying up late every night, translating my homework before I could begin to complete it. It was tough navigating cultural differences. But the Gymnasium was also a wonderful place. My classmates made me feel accepted into their world. Almost all of my teachers treated me with patience and kindness. And, although I was given special treatment at first, the best part of the whole experience was when people stopped giving that special treatment and started expecting the same level of work from me that they expected from the other students.

Weaving through all the good times and bad times–the stress, the expectations, and the confusion on one hand, the fun on the other– were the songs of the Bee Gees.

Robin and Brothers in the Early Days

I attended my first dance and danced my first slow dance—with a very handsome eighth grader, an “older guy” named Michael Krick who was actually my age, unlike the boys in my class—to the lyrics of “Words”: “Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me….”  I dreamed long daydreams about kissing that same boy to “To Love Somebody” (“You don’t know what’it’s like to love somebody to love somebody the way I love you.”)  I worried about an endless drama with a mean girl in my class (some things transcend cultural differences)  to “I Started a Joke” (“Oh, but I didn’t see that the joke was on me!”)   I later mooned over my best friend’s brother, who was also our very glamorous newspaper delivery boy, to “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.” And when I worried about leaving Germany and going back to the States, the words of “World” played in my head.  (“Tomorrow…where in the world will I be tomorrow?  How far am I able to see?”)

The Bee Gees are so much a part of that whole time for me, that time of excitement and longing and restless imagining—that when I hear one of their songs start up, I get transported right back to the  EisCafe Dolomiten , where, in the 8th grade (my last year in Germany) everyone met up after school to eat Italian ice and flirt.

I was sad to see Robin go.  There is something way too jarring about having two Bee Gees dead.  I felt the same way when George Harrison died.  It’s one thing to lose a childhood icon to a tragic, untimely death–like John Lennon–but somehow it’s a lot harder when someone just dies, from some regular old disease, just  like the rest of us.

Robin, as I Remember Him

I have to say:  I kind of wish that famous singers or movie stars of our youth would disappear or retire, right at the height of their fame, never to be heard from again.  I didn’t really want to hear about Paul McCartney turning 64, and I sure as hell don’t want to watch The Eagles totter out in front of me on stage.  I don’t care how good they sound.  There’s something disturbing about watching old dudes with wrinkles and white hair sing songs that I associate with being 14 or 15.

I guess I prefer to think of all of my childhood idols as young, handsome, and vibrant–the way they were back then, when I was living my life with a constant soundtrack of the Bee Gees in my head.

My First Actual Album

 

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Sadhvi Sez: Ge

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I know I am not the oldest living woman in the world, but I’ve started to notice a lot of people are dying. Like: Bee Gee Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Ray Bradbury, Bob Welch from the original Fleetwood Mac, Doc Watson, and someone I didn’t know much about, the beloved Hawaiian elder, Kumu Raylene Kawaiaea, who recently passed away. She was not very well-known and doesn’t have a wiki page and probably never had a FB, linkedin, pinterest, or Google+ account either. But when I saw this clip of her (below) I enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share.

Kumu talks about “being love”, and sings a chant for the appreciation of life.

Getting older and still being alive and healthy makes me want to smile, and, well, be love!

Take a look and listen to her words and voice and I bet you a dollar that you will feel the same after you do.

Heck, let’s start a new movement and call it “Be Love”.  Starting now…

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Untitled

I was reading a recent issue of Time magazine at the doctor’s office, the one listing the 100 most influential people in the world, and I was struck by one person in particular:  a beautiful and inspiring woman over 50, Fatou Bensouda.  Ms. Bensouda, 51, will become on June 16th “the first African woman to assume the top job at an international tribunal” when she takes over as Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The ICC has the job of prosecuting those responsible “for the most serious crimes—genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity” when civil courts fail.

Ms. Bensouda is particularly inspirational to me because her previous experience includes successfully prosecuting Rwanda’s genocidaires.  She has been a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the ICC since 2004.  She also has a very interesting life story.  As Rebecca Lowe writes in an article in The Guardian,  Bensouda “was raised in Banjul, The Gambia, by two mothers: her real mother and her father’s other wife, who lived under the same roof along with her own children…”.  To Westerners such an arrangement may seem distinctly uncomfortable.  In Gambia, however, polygamy is a widely accepted practice, and one – for Bensouda, at least – that worked extraordinarily well.  “We were close to both mothers,” she says.  “All the siblings were close.  We did not have this unfortunate rivalry that sometimes happens in polygamous families, and we were all very good to one another.”

Bensouda has been the recipient of various awards, most notably, the distinguished ICJ International Jurists Award (2009), which was presented by the President of India.  Bensouda was given this award for her contributions to criminal law both at the national and international level.  Bensouda has also been awarded the 2011 World Peace Through Law Award presented by the Whitney Harris World Law Institute, at Washington University, recognizing her work in considerably advancing the rule of law and thereby contributing to world peace.

Here’s a link to the Time magazine article: 

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112113,00.html

Check her out!

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Sadhvi Sez:

SADHVI

I’m back after taking a little break from posting on Oops50.  It’s not that I didn’t have anything to share; the truth is that so much has been going on that I didn’t know what to post!  I decided to see how long we’ve been doing this blog just now, and to my surprise, it’s been over 3 years that me and my friends, Annice and Jane, have been sharing what is relevant to us in the moment here on this site.  Wow.  Three years is a long time!  The posts are longer than a comment on FaceBook; longer than a tweet on Twitter, and longer than a text.  This is my way of connecting and I just want to say thanks for reading our posts!

We went to see a movie the other night.  It was so much fun and enjoyable that you should go see it too.  It’s the new one with Judi Dench, one of my all-time favorite actresses.  Whatever movie comes out with her in it, I go see it.  The same is true for any movie with Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Kevin Kline, and Johnny Depp.  I don’t like to do a lot of review checking before I go see something with them in it; I like to be surprised.  I just knew that this new movie was shot mostly in India.  It’s called, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.

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It’s about some old folks who see an ad for a retirement place in Jaipur, India that sounds like a good place to retire.  They don’t know each other in the beginning, but become close when they all arrive at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful.

The sights of India stir something in me that makes me smile.  Unpredictability, long waits, dangerous bus rides with people giving birth and dying around me, a feeling of being at home and relaxed that I have never been able to touch in the US.

Interestingly, what hit me at first was how both Maggie Smith and Judi Dench look old.  I mean, really old.  Not the Hollywood-face-lift type of old.  It was shocking to see their faces without the Photoshop touch ups that one sees on every single magazine cover in the checkout line at the grocery store of every single actor or actress.  It’s a pity, really, that as a society, we can’t take the truth of getting older.  After a short while, I started to enjoy seeing these women as they are, and started to find them beautiful to look at.  Refreshing even.  The inner beauty of being who one is.  And they are old.  So that is how they should look!

I visited India many times in the 80’s and 90’s to see my guru.  And at the end of the film, I wanted to jump on a plane to go again.  There is definitely a fascination that India holds for me.  After twenty-some odd years since my last visit, I know that I would find cell phone towers everywhere (I’ve heard they are in many of the rickshaws now!), and I hate cell phone towers.  It wouldn’t be the same, of course.  I mean, my guru died in ’91, so if I went, it really would be to explore.

Such good actors…take a break and go see this movie; it’s like going to India without the hassle.  And I have a feeling you will be smiling when you leave the cinema.

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