Monday, July 21, 2014

The Dignity of Small Talk

Moments ago,  while waiting on the bus, a gentleman next to me engaged me in small talk. Basically,  it was an exchangr of hello's, how are you's, short conversation about the weather.  The interaction made me think for a moment how it seems these days there's too many instances where such conversations would be looked down upon as awkward. Wouldn't it be feasible,  though, look at a brief, random discussion on a basic topic in such circumstances as an affirmation of one's human dignity?  Of all the moments people go through in a day, how refreshing is it, once in a while,  to be able to talk to a random stranger (or even a friend) about topics as mundane as the weather or where one got their shirt. It's not only a way to get information, but infers the humanity of those engaged in conversation. It says, without words, "I acknowledge your existence as a human being and thus worthy of attention as such in the form of verbal communication". Next time find you find yourself in a "small talk" situation,  don't be afraid to go with it as far as your comfort level permits

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Majesty in the Stillness

Sunlight of the late spring sun
Brightens the green leaves of trees
radiating the Spirit of the Majesty
of it all
Woods are no longer woods
but messengers
crying for awe
of the Beauty
that can most times
be heard
in the stillness
while taking it all in

Monday, May 19, 2014

Food for Thought-Addendum

A couple of months ago your humble blogger shared this thought for contemplation:

Don't be afraid to progress

After laying some thought to paper in today's journaling session, the following addendum came to mind-
Even if you have to take a few steps back to do it

There will be some times in life when things take some twists, turns, and even reversals. Hopefully, when brought to mind, this updated food for thought can be of some comfort:

Don't be afraid to progress, even if you have to take a few steps back to do it.

Blessings,
Ms RanaDee

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fashion pick of the day


So your humble blogger decided to spice up her work look today with this skirt by House of Chapple. It's fair to say this number is definitely worth having in yout style arsenal-litetally. At $30 you can't go wrong for piece by none other than Bravo's "The Fashion Show" finalist Reco Chapple. Put this on, get your heels, and be prepared to make a statement.

Get it here:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seeds, Lent, Easter, Spring and Victory


Courtesy of Fandroid on YouTube


     "Yet another Janelle Monae reference?", you ask? In this particular instance, it behooved your humble blogger to share the message in the above song, given the time of year and its deeper meaning. Now that the weather is starting to break, many are in celebration mode, enjoying the benefits springtime has to offer (sun, plants in bloom, change of clothes, etc.). However, as nature teaches us, this season is not just for enjoyment, but reflection and upkeep.

     Returning to aformentioned song, a particular line has been particularly hitting home for yours truly lately:
"...cause when the rain falls, my seed will grow/ I'll be further to my dreams tomorrow" 
 
The seed metaphor was particualarly intriguing, considering how nature works.  We just came out of the Lenten season, which could be seen as a time of preparation in the same way nature requires soil to be prepared for sowing seed. The latter consists of eliminating weeds, loosening the soil, and working it with various gardening tools. Lent sees those who participate in it doing likewise-eliminating, loosening, and using tools in the form of fasting to make improvements to our lives. 
 
After the preparation comes the sowing and watering (i.e. rain, manual watering).  In our lives, "watering" can come in the form of challenges or trials. As the verse above implies,that's when the seed grows.Victory!!!
 
Almost-
 
It could be easy to sit back and relax and enjoy the blooming flower, but keeping it blooming requires maintenance.  The same is true for our lives.  Now that we made it to Easter, reverting to the things we were trying to get rid of  during Lent can be very tempting. Just like blooms in springtime, our lives need upkeep after we achieved the desired progress. This includes reflecting on said progress and attending to any challenges to it. The aforementioned lyric is telling in this sense in that Janelle notes that she'll "be further" to her dreams, not already there. There's work to be done.
 
This season has a bounty for us to appreciate and enjoy.  All that is for naught, though, if time isn't taken out to look back at what it took to get that bounty. That includes using the lessons from the preparation to address any obstacles to growth.. It's then and only then can the victor, as they say, get the spoils.  Nature teaches this well.

References:
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Food for thought

Here's something that popped into the mind of your humble blogger this week that felt  important to share:

Don't be scared to progress.

Blessings,
Ms. Rana

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Women's History Month and St. Katharine Drexel

Photo courtesy of WomenofGrace.com

In a 2009 interview, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the woman behind the quote "Well behaved women seldom make history", answered question on the benefit of looking back on the lives of women in history by touting the diverse ways women have engaged in public life over time. She noted how throughout history, women have "invented things, been leaders, been good at gardening, religious heroines. They've been queens.". To celebrate Women's History Month, your humble blogger would like to take a look at the religious heroines  of the historical equation-in particular, St. Katharine Drexel.

Given her feast day was celebrated on March 3, it seems fitting to honor the Philadelphia heiress who gave it up to help the marginalized of her time as a part of not just Catholic history, but women's history. Born to a wealthy family, she went on to become the foundress of a Catholic religious order dedicated to missionary work to Native Americans and African Americans. Her story exemplifies the power of faith lived out, especially in the most adverse of circumstances.

 In the aforementioned interview, Ulrich asserted "If you look at the long view, women have always contributed to the economy of their society...". In this light, St. Katharine Drexel demonstrates how helping those on the fringes is the heart of impactful contribution to the economy of society.

A great account of St. Katharine Drexel's life and work can be found here: http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Oct2000/feature1.asp



References:

http://daretodream.typepad.com/weblog/2009/07/janika-dillon-interviews-laurel-thatcher-ulrich.html