Goodbye to Greetings…

Part of my after-holiday traditions is to reread my Christmas cards. I love getting and giving cards all year round but Christmas greetings are special. I’m not sure if it’s the significance of the holiday – The fact that this might be the only time you hear from certain family members or friends – It’s probably a combination of both.

I enjoy looking at them again to remind me of the many people who took the time to share a part of themselves with me during the holiday. It is also a time to reflect on the past year and to look ahead to the new year at hand. Knowing there’s always the possibility that one of these cards might be the last one I’ll ever receive from someone. Which is why I save a select few each year, just in case, but to also find among my books in the coming years so I can revisit the past, to remind me to live in the present and look forward to the future…

Greetings dear friends and family! Thanks to all who shared a kind word this past season, Blessings for good health, happiness and fortune in 2014…

Ginnie

eventually snow melts and spring will appear...
eventually snow melts and spring will appear…

Oh What a Week it Was…

This past week was “Spring Break” for my martial arts school. Which isn’t really a vacation but a time to catch up with things and people you don’t otherwise have time or opportunity for, those of you who own a business understand what I mean.

Nothing about this break was typical. Normally there would be friends to lunch with, errands to run, paper work and cleaning to get done.  Instead it started with the funeral of a long time friend who passed too young. It was in the church waiting for the funeral mass when I had my first reflection. My eyes just welled up with tears as I took my mother’s hand and squeezed it, life is so precious and brief. We are lulled into thinking we have more time than we really do. That lesson hit us all just two days later.

The next day was a much happier occasion, but no less reflective as a student of mine competed in a national martial art tournament. I stood there watching young martial artists take the ring to compete and recalled all the times I competed and all the students I trained to compete. The endless tournaments often two in one weekend, and how and why I fell in love with martial arts and teaching. It looked the same but it wasn’t, the innocents was gone. What was once a format to test skill, in my view had become political and a little tainted.

Monday was to be a day of connecting with an old friend and enjoying time together, instead it was a brutal reminder of the times in which we live.  I was alerted of the bombings through the all too familiar ESPN notification sound from my i phone. I mistakenly thought it was the Sox score. My friend and I discussed how life can turn on a dime and without notice. That the most terrorizing thing is never really knowing when or how – Yet that’s the most comforting thing, because I don’t want to know when or how it will all change.

Tuesday  was a little closer to “normal” but there was still time for reflection and a bit of fear knowing there were fugitives on the loose.

Wednesday, was all about the bike, and riding a bicycle . Reminding me, there are still ways we can reach back to our inner child and reclaim our innocents.

Thursday I was able to workout my angst by cleaning my martial art school. It always gives me a sense of comfort to take care of things and people. I don’t feel as helpless and lost when I’m doing something to benefit something or someone. It’s also a great way to reflect, ask any monk…

Friday was all about old friends, flowers, and looking through a camera lens. Photography was a gift from a mentor who passed last year. Shirley made me believe I could be creative and introduced me to the work of Adams and Stieglitz. Like the bike, the camera allows me to return to another time. A time when I learned to focus not only on the beauty in my view finder but the beauty inside of me.  Then the crazy insanity of the day’s events were shown through the view of different cameras, as we watched with the world the hopeful conclusion to the week of terror…

Today was shared with sisters from Nursing School. Thirty – Five years have passed since we all donned the blue uniforms and white caps of student nurses.  There are more grays and a few more pounds and laugh lines, but the bond is still there. Can thirty – five years be only a moment ago? When we get together it seems that way conversations seamlessly take on the same rhythms and animation. Hugs are just as warm and giggles are just as melodic.

So full circle, friends lost, friends found, security lost, terror found, lives lost, lives saved, the ebb and flow of life was never so evident as it was this week – Oh What A Week It Was…

Ironically I didn’t run…

Peace be with us all,

Ginnie

A Little Cyber Reality…

I was mulling over the “social networking sphere” while I was running today (random thoughts while running keep me from thinking about how much my legs ache). Although I’ve been “on” Facebook and recently joined Twitter, I still can’t wrap my mind around “Friends” and “Followers.” Facebook makes you feel popular with all those friends.  Then again Twitter gives you Rock Star like status with “Followers.”

All of this got me to thinking if the “Social Networking Scene” started during the time of Buddha and Jesus would we all log in as disciples  or would we be apostles or prophets? Would the Buddha be able to meditate or would he have to update his time line? Would the Sermon on The Mount be a Web cast or could it be downloaded from iTunes? Would we hit like on Jesus’s status “Attending a Wedding at Cana, hope they have enough wine?” Would we re-tweet Buddha’s Tweet “Life contains suffering” ?

Obviously this is all tongue  in cheek but it get’s you to thinking. Really great things happen in the real world. Miracles need to be experienced and don’t require a like or  re-tweet. While the social network has brought information it’s lost intimacy …

Just a few thoughts from the run,

Ginnie

Friendships…

There are  so many types of friendships and all are important blessings in one way or another. Yet there is a special group of friends that share a very important part of life – The friends we made in college or in my case nursing school.

I went to Newport Hospital School of Nursing 1975-1978. Those were the years of first independence and my first taste of adulthood. We became men and woman together, developed our social consciousness and a taste for beer. We experienced life wearing rose-colored glasses and our hearts on our sleeves. We laughed (boy did we laugh) we loved and we learned about being a true friend. How to lean on someone you barely knew.

We were truly in it together. We shared the same dream, the same classes, the same jobs and  most of us lived together. I can’t think of a closer environment except for the military. This is why these people will always hold a very special place in my heart…

To quote Paul Simon ” A time it was, and what a time it was – A time of innocents a time of confidences.”

 

Ginnie

Surprised With My Words…

You always need to watch out what you say or write because your words may come back to haunt you… My father used to say that to me all the time; mostly because of my quick comebacks and sassy tung. I never thought I would be surprised to see my own words…  Such was the case tonight, when a dear friend and my students surprised me with a scrap book that included my blogs and photography! WOW!!!

Surprised doesn’t begin to describe how I felt – Shock and awe would be more apt – Not because of seeing my words and photography, but the love and care that went into putting it all together. Wow, I said it again, Wow… I am so very blessed to have people in my life who’d go to such lengths to help me celebrate my Sixth Dan!

So for the first time, words fail me, and I wouldn’t know how to capture this feeling in a photograph. I guess all I have to offer is love and gratitude…

Namaste, Carol and your elves…

Master Amaral (Ginnie)

Life After Dan Testing…

It’s been one week since completing and passing my sixth dan test. I’ve used this week to decompress and reenergize myself for my next goals.

After being focused on one aspect of my life for six months. I’m finding it difficult to get back to “normal.” For example some days I was training for two hours, now that’s cut to one hour. I was taking two classes a week, this week none! I’ve been working on my essays every weekend – Done! What to do with all this extra time?

To say I’m at loose ends would be an understatement. However I’m focusing on my work and my businesses’ charitable works. Making up some time with my friends and family.

Tomorrow I start looking forward and not back…

Ginnie

Sensing Changes…

Only two weeks into 2012 and I’m sensing some big changes – Not only in my life but in the lives of those around me…

Here are a few so far; One friend has lost her mother and another is losing her mom to cancer. Some of my former martial art students stopped by to visit from college,and shared experiences in their new lives.  One of my staff members had his eyes opened to the world of travel. A few of my students are spreading their wings in leadership training. A friend is contemplating an addition to her home – I’m contemplating renovations to mine (this however has been going on for 6 years). I’ve joined a committee to conduct a walk against bullying, and will be testing for an advanced martial art rank.

There will be a lot more changes I’m sure. Some will be unexpected, planned, happy and sad. However it is the only thing we can be sure of things will change…

Here’s hoping we have the good sense to recognize when its time for one – Maybe I will put in that new floor after all…

Ginnie

Unexpected Gifts…

Say what you may for or against the information age – It has its unexpected gifts like the one I received from a friend’s email today.

A friend of mine was going through some old photographs of her parents and stumbled upon one of mine. Rita scanned the photo and sent it to me. Back in the day I would have had to visit her to see the photo and wouldn’t have been able to have a copy. This simple gesture made my day and that of many family members scattered across the country.

So among the spam and unwanted forwarded jokes and chain letters there are unexpected gifts like this…

Namaste,

Ginnie

 

Keeping In Touch

We’re all so busy – We have al sorts of electronic ways of keeping up to date with everything and everyone. There are emails, facebook and twitter posts. You can video chat and skype, heck my car can phone you! All of these are convenient and quick ways of keeping in touch.

Yet none of these offer the quality of conversation and interaction of being in the company of another human.Whether its sharing a meal,coffee,enjoying a walk or just sitting quietly together.  Electronics may have made communications more accessible but haven’t made them more meaningful.

Take time to spend time with a friend or family member, be there fully – All electronic devices away. Share a heart to heart conversation… The minutes are free!

Namaste,

Ginnie