What's Helping Me Today

Chat about a topic supported by books, TED Talks, podcasts, personal experience, philosophies of mankind mingled with humor (shout out to IOT), and maybe we’ll even do a google hangout or conference call once a month.
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Fifi de la Vergne
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What's Helping Me Today

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:13 am

I listened to a podcast with Philip Roth (from before he died), discussing his novel The Plot Against America. He read this great passage from it, talking about what it's like to live through historical events:
. . . the unfolding of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as "History," harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.
Somehow I'm finding comfort in reading about the epics of our past, and the reminder that the folks who went before us got through their own terrifying experiences. My grandmother lived through two world wars and the Great Depression, also losing a beloved brother to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. She was my rock -- but it's only very recently that I've given any thought to all she lived through and the anxiety and even terror she must have experienced at times.

This moment, right here right now, is for many of us our first experience of living with the terror of the "unfolding of the unseen" on such a scale. In spite of the onslaught of commentators from all sides, we can't know how it will unfold. But we know that it will pass, and in time become another chronicle on the pages of history.

My daily hope and struggle is to live with grace towards all the other terrified folks around me. It's not easy when my own fear feels so barely contained. It's helpful for me (and I'm sharing this for whomever it might also help) to remember that even though trials on this scale are new to so many of us, humanity's history is replete with them.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I'm grateful for you, my friends. Be well.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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Hagoth
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 pm

Thank you Fifi! That's a great perspective. What doesn't kill us will make us stronger (typed by someone optimistic enough to assume it won't kill him!)
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Apologeticsislying
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Apologeticsislying » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:15 pm

Good thread....... thanks Fifi.......I'm just rewatching the Hobbit series........finished the Desolation of Smaug. Now onto the third one in the epic.
The same energy that emerges from the fountain of eternity into time, is the Holy Grail at the center of the universe of the inexhaustible vitality in each of our hearts. The Holy Grail, like the Kingdom of God, is within. -Joseph Campbell-

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moksha
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by moksha » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:52 pm

The Phoenix was reborn from the ashes. Gandalf survived the Tower of Orthanc. Mormons crossed the plains. The poisonous gas terrain of World War I now bears crops. We breathe the same oxygen molecules as Jesus. Life goes on both in myth and real life.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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MoPag
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by MoPag » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:01 am

Fifi I love this!!!

One of my friends and I were talking about how were are living though a part of history our grandchildren will read about in school one day and ask us what is was like.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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MerrieMiss
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:10 am

Fifi, I was thinking about you this morning, realizing I hadn’t heard from you in a while. I am so glad you posted; I love reading your thoughts.

I miss my grandmother. She was a hard, bitter, and unpleasant woman; died a few year back and wasn’t well for the couple of years preceding her death, but there are a few things I really wish I’d had her around for: my faith crisis, my kid’s health, and this. She told me that as a little girl the summer would get so hot - and she and her sister would cry because their mother wouldn’t let them go swimming at the public pool. They had to sit in the backyard with a bucket of water, out of fear of polio. It’s made me realize that for the past 75 years or so how little we have had to think of disease. She was a difficult woman to love, but I really miss her right now.

Apologeticsislying
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Apologeticsislying » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:33 pm

moksha wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:52 pm
The Phoenix was reborn from the ashes. Gandalf survived the Tower of Orthanc. Mormons crossed the plains. The poisonous gas terrain of World War I now bears crops. We breathe the same oxygen molecules as Jesus. Life goes on both in myth and real life.
You RUINED the plot for me you stupid penguin....... :lol: :lol: :lol:
The same energy that emerges from the fountain of eternity into time, is the Holy Grail at the center of the universe of the inexhaustible vitality in each of our hearts. The Holy Grail, like the Kingdom of God, is within. -Joseph Campbell-

Reuben
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Reuben » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:15 am

I think it would be nice to broaden this topic, and use the thread to post anything that's helping in a given day.

My favorite space photo is helping me today. Zoom in and check out the spirals!

Image

It's a long exposure photo taken by the Hubble space telescope. It was pointed at a dark and very narrow section of sky - about what you would see looking through a straw held at arm's length. The narrow field of view and long exposure allowed collecting light from things that are very far away, which usually look so small and dim that they're invisible to us.

Every point of light in the photo is a galaxy.

This is less than a millionth of the sky.

This photo fills me with awe - it makes me feel really small in a way that I like. When I'm the biggest thing in my universe, my problems feel like they're the most important thing in the universe. They don't go away when I look at this image and try to comprehend my actual size and importance, but they feel a lot more manageable.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Reuben
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Reuben » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:21 am

Fifi de la Vergne wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:13 am
I listened to a podcast with Philip Roth (from before he died), discussing his novel The Plot Against America. He read this great passage from it, talking about what it's like to live through historical events:
. . . the unfolding of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as "History," harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.
I love this. I read it to my kids at dinner. We talked about how future generations would read about us and think of all the uncertain events in our futures as being part of their inevitable past. It's both mind-bending and perspective-giving.

(It makes me think of conditional probability distributions, but that's more geeking out than helping...)
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:20 am

Reuben wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:15 am
This photo fills me with awe - it makes me feel really small in a way that I like. When I'm the biggest thing in my universe, my problems feel like they're the most important thing in the universe. They don't go away when I look at this image and try to comprehend my actual size and importance, but they feel a lot more manageable.
I've always felt awe looking into the night sky. I grew up in the southeast Colorado desert -- not a lovely spot but at night the stars were spectacular. I miss that. Thank you for the photo and for your comments; I struggle to maintain perspective and this helps.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:21 am

Reuben wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:21 am
(It makes me think of conditional probability distributions, but that's more geeking out than helping...)
I confess I have no idea what you're talking about . . . :?
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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alas
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by alas » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:50 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:10 am
Fifi, I was thinking about you this morning, realizing I hadn’t heard from you in a while. I am so glad you posted; I love reading your thoughts.

I miss my grandmother. She was a hard, bitter, and unpleasant woman; died a few year back and wasn’t well for the couple of years preceding her death, but there are a few things I really wish I’d had her around for: my faith crisis, my kid’s health, and this. She told me that as a little girl the summer would get so hot - and she and her sister would cry because their mother wouldn’t let them go swimming at the public pool. They had to sit in the backyard with a bucket of water, out of fear of polio. It’s made me realize that for the past 75 years or so how little we have had to think of disease. She was a difficult woman to love, but I really miss her right now.
I remember not being allowed to play in the irrigation ditch because of the threat of polio, any water that could be dirty was off limits, as well as o public swimming pools. Life sure changed when there was a vaccine. Funny, my husband and I recently talked about this, and he can’t remember any fear of polio, except what he learned later from history and he is 4years older than I am. But I had a friend that was still in the recovery process from polio, and so might just remember it more because it was more personal.

I also remember parents purposely exposing their children to things like mumps, measles, chicken pox, because just like Corona virus, it was safer to get them as a child. Measles was known to cause birth defects in unborn children if the mother got it, so much better she get it at 5 than at 25. Mumps could leave an adult man sterile so if he wanted children best have it before puberty. And they were all more likely to kill an adult, so before the vaccine, parents would have measles play dates. If you got sick, rather than isolating, all the kids who had never had it were brought over to purposely expose them, so they would be over it rather than get it as an adult when it was more dangerous. Can you imagine now purposely exposing your child to something that could kill them, because if they got it when they were older, it had a greater chance of killing them. Also better to get it before starting school, so the child didn’t miss so much school.

I remember seeing a house with a quarantine notice tacked on the front door and no one was allowed to visit and they couldn’t come out because of whatever they had. It had to be something like polio or small pox because none of the “childhood diseases” were put under quarantine that way.

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Hermey
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Re: What's Helping Me Today

Post by Hermey » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:29 pm

Ask my my wife if I watch porn. She will laugh and say yes. And the she'll tell you that my porn is Art, Artists, and art related things. Art moves me. It lifts me. It inspires me. I suck at it, but I love to dabble in it.

I discovered this artist last night. His name is Mashiul Chowdhury. He is both a Doctor (an expert on infectious disease) by day and an artist. I find his his story and his art simply fascinating! Enjoy!....

Mashiul Chowdhury - Website

Artists in the Time of Pandemic, Mashiul Chowdhury

Mashiul Chowdhury, Showing His Heart


Oh, and Fifi, ML4N day is also my wedding anniversary and my favorite version of coffee. Not forgotten!

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