Friday, January 30, 2009

The Lemonade Award

The Lemonade Award is for sites which show great attitude and/or Gratitude!
This award has been bestowed upon my site by Khaled Kem . Thank you Khaled! I am deeply honored.

Rules for the award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Nominate your favorites and link to this post.

My nominees are in no particular order:

Great attitudes of honesty, clarity and strong opinion:
Jennifer of The Bride Wore Magenta
Judith of The Being Brand
Julie of The Buffaloe Pen

Great attitudes of community building:
Jason of The Clarity of Night for his fiction contests.
Nancy of Every Photo Tells A Story for for that blog, and her other blog, Breathing Poetry which highlights the poetry of excellent bloggers.

Great attitudes of encouragement:
K. Lawson Gilbert of Old Mossy Moon
Sarah Hina of Murmurs
A.C. of The Dusty Lens
Qualcosa di Bello of Piacere

Great attitudes of bringing difficult subjects to light in a humorous way:
J.R. of JRs Thumbprints for his posts on prison life.
Gledwood of Gledwood Vol 2 for his posts on fighting heroin addiction.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And The Trees Danced

A bitter wind blew through the land
And screams of rage could be heard
From every corner of the sky,
Echoing throughout all of the Earth.

The ground was red from the battle, the long and endless battle,
Where neither one side, nor the other
Was heard to profess an element of understanding,
And pleas screamed would only break on ears of stone,
As each claimed that their god would reign victorious.

And there were those who loved and simply watched,
Who could see beyond the shades of skin,
And the acclamations of divine intent,
And would weep helplessly,
As they watched the ebb and flow of the bleeding tides,
Cursing the shades and pointing to the color that all beings shared,
Spilled relentlessly on fields of intolerance and greed.

And the reddened brown mud dried and cracked over the earth,
And the land was parched with flame and ash,
And the waters became putrid so no one could drink,
And the air thickened, and was brown with smoke and dust,
And the food would not grow because the rains would not fall,
And all of the Earth settled into a deep despair.

Then, just when all of the world agreed that the end was near,
And that nothing could be done to reverse the turn,
A man with skin the color of coffee and milk
Stepped out onto the battlefield,
And with his eyes, ears and heart open wide,

He listened.

And he heard the cries of the people,
And he spoke to them of Hope,
And the hearts of the many who heard his words
Chose him above all others to be their voice,
And to speak the truth for them.

A fuse was ignited and all around the world,
Tall columns built on worm ridden pedestals
Began to crumble and collapse,
As the age of plenty built on shards of illusion
And the backs of slaves
Could not stand tall,
And cowered in the brilliant light of Hope
And words of Truth.

And all of the people fighting
In all of the lands,
Increased their battles,
Reaching farther into the darkness,
Looting whatever remained of anything precious.
They waged on in their wars, in the names of their gods,
Utilizing women and children, in the crimes of their greed,
And causing a great wave of grief throughout the world.

Then on the eve of the day before the man was to become
The voice of the people,
A great cloud filled the heavens and settled over the land,
And a long and quiet snow fell throughout the night,
Covering the fields stained red in the blood of slaves and soldiers
With a soft blanket of redemption.

And in the morning light,
As the sun shown on the fields of ice and snow,
The man the color of coffee and milk
Stood in front of all the world,
And spoke of Peace and the Promise of Humanity.
And all of the people from all four corners of the earth,
Heard the words,
And wept,
For the broken hearts of the many,
That had finally been redeemed.

And the trees, that had stood guard in watch of their fields,
Who witnessed the toils of the pickers and planters,
Those unlucky, who as children
Had been stolen from the arms of their mothers
And sent in the bottoms of ships, in sickness and shackles
To toil in the fields,

The trees who watched helplessly,
Bearing silent witness to the rape of young girls,
Who thought the dream was a fool’s folly
As the weight of somebody’s child
Swung heavily from their branches,
Though try as they might,
They could not release them,

The very trees whose limbs hung heavy in frozen tears,
Suddenly stood tall and reaching their naked branches to the sky,
They danced with their shadows in the fields of snowy white.
Filled with the blood of the ages they sounded in words heard clearly
In the hearts of the crying spirits of mothers and children of Africa,

"Hallelujah!" They sang.
"Behold, a brand new day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Rajasthani Jagrata

Maybe it is the honor received for the photos, or the documentary production I mentioned in my last post, (in which production is now heating up with an ending in site), or perhaps it is the all the new friends from India I have found from the Clarity contest, I don't know, but it all points to one thing, I can't get beloved India out of my soul.

After my initiation into India by swindle, sickness and solitude, I finally landed at the Durag Niwas Guesthouse. This is the same wonderful family, that started the Sambhali Trust project which I highlighted in my last post with the picture of Monika. I was invited to attend this Jagrata and...well I'll let the slide show tell the story.

The woman in the orange sari is Govind's mother, and I'd like to ask for your healing thoughts for her. She has suffered a stroke recently, and although she is home now with the family, she has a long way to go for a full recovery.


If you enjoyed the video, I have also written a longer version of this story. The celebration actually went into the next night and included a goat slaughter that went quite awry. It is quite a fun story, very different from the video, and I think you will enjoy reading it. You will find it on my website at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art with Heart

Dear Friends, I am posting this with joy to announce that I have been chosen as a finalist in the Art with Heart Emerging Artist Competition in Charlotte, NC for my photography entries. The very well attended silent auction for this event will be held on February 7th, 2009. For more information about the event, go to the Art With Heart website. These entries from my Reflections of India series are posted for your enjoyment:

Monika Sweeps The Classroom: Monika is a girl I befriended at the Sambhali Trust, a school empowering untouchable girls in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. At the moment I am engaged with my brother the video editor, in producing a video from the documentary footage I shot while I was there a year ago. Our intention is to help in the development and support of this very worthwhile project. I have written extensively about the project here.

Bapu's Mother Making Chapattis: Bapu was the manager of The Shahi Palace, a hotel in Jaisalmer, a wonderful golden city in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Upon returning from a trip to drop off friends embarking on a camel expedition, I was invited to sit and have tea with Bapu's family who lived in a village in the vast desert that surrounds the city. I found the simplicity of life there to be very enticing, although in talking to folks, most would rather have our complicated lives, and the money that comes with it. It's a grass is always greener scenario. For further reading and photos from my experiences of that day, I've written about it extensively

Family Time in Calcutta: Calcutta, or Kolkatta as it is now called, is one of those places where to have your camera out starts to feel a little voyeuristic and almost unethical. However, if I have found nothing else gratifying about the obscene poverty that pervades India, and is epitomized in Calcutta, I can say with absolute truth that the care that Indians take in even the worst of circumstances to implement the simplistic beauty of color and organization, shows in all aspects of personal life, from the richest grandeur, to the lowest castes and classes. I hope that that shows in this photograph.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest

Hello Everyone,

Jason Evans of The Clarity of Night ran a short fiction contest calling for entries of not more than 250 words based on the above photo. The contest results have been announced, and although my story did not win, I am pleased to announce that it has rated into the '40's Club', those that scored 40 or over for a possible 45 points. The most successful part of this contest however, is the community building that it inspired, and I am very pleased with all of the new blogging friends I have made as a result. Great job for all of the entries, and congratulations to the winners!

Son Games Mother
by Catherine Vibert

Tommy gave a long sigh as he stepped off the escalator and walked down the hall into the waiting room. He knew if he didn’t show up, she would take his computer.

“Come in Tommy.”

“This is stupid,” Tommy plopped onto the sofa and crossed his arms.

“We can sit here and talk about that if you like,” the therapist’s voice was calm, sterile, “Or, we can just sit here. Either way, it’s the same to me.”

Tommy stared at the floor most of the hour. When his time was up, he reached into his pocket for the co-pay check his mother had written, slipped it into the therapist’s hand, and bolted out of the room.

Later at dinner, he sat down with his mother to eat.

“How was your appointment?” she asked.

He gave his mother an angry stare.

“We determined I’m just lazy.”

“Did you talk about any resolutions?” she searched his face for any truth.

“I don’t care!” Tommy shouted, “I don’t want to go anymore!” He threw his chair back and ran to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Listening from behind the door, she heard his computer power on.

“Tommy, please come out here and talk to me!” she pounded at the door, but he had returned to the game, there would be no talking tonight.

“Good night Tommy,” she walked away, defeated.

“You have an instant message”, her computer beckoned.

“I hate you”, said the words on the screen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

May The Waters Run Deep
To Fill your Coffers With Vision
May The Healing Begin On This Earth
Peace, Compassion, Understanding and Hope For All

I am looking forward to seeing all of your wonderful work in the New Year. Between the 3rd and the 10th, I will be offline celebrating a belated Christmas with my sons.