Colourful Planet Earth – Farbige Erde

 

Mother Earth at her most colourful. These pictures were taken on the island of Mauritius (Chamarel, Black River District), where basalt outcrops with varied mineralizations weather into motherly and colourful images.
Mutter Erde von ihrer farbigsten Seite. Diese Bilder entstanden auf der Insel Mauritius (Chamarel, Rivière Noire Distrikt) wo Basaltfelsen mit verschiedensten Mineraleinschlüssen verwittern und sowohl die mütterlichen, wie auch die farbigen Seiten unseres Planeten zeigen.

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Feast Day: Valentine - Valentinstag

A green heart for all the lovers of the world. Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius. – Ein grünes Herz für alle Liebenden dieser Welt. Im Black River Gorges National Park auf Mauritius.

Map it out – the extent of obvious misery

Here I am in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.

The row houses in the Kensington area were originally built for workers in the vicinity of the factories that employed them. They are a monument to industriousness and dignity. The factories were not social institutions, but apparently it was possible for many families to live in their own little house in the neighbourhood. It was a short commute to the workplace. There were many little corner stores selling things of daily needs, and bars for those who had daily or occasional wants. Some avenues were commercial districts with a variety of stores and shops. I have seen a library in a park, schools and a hospital – all in a similar architectural style making use of brickwork, just the way the factories were built. And there were many churches to comfort the ones hit by hardship and to celebrate with the ones who were able to make it.

Industrial Beauty - a restored factory portal in Kensinton
Industrial Beauty – a restored factory portal in Kensington

Continue reading “Map it out – the extent of obvious misery”

what is truth?“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us… It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely…I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.”

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, 1968

.For more of my own writing related to the above quote, please follow the links below:

The significance of the insignificance of self

Die Bedeutung der Geringfügigkeit des Selbst (in German)

 

2012 in pictures

Here is my 2012 in pictures! For thoughts to go with each picture in the slideshow, keep reading: Continue reading “2012 in pictures”

Faithful – half full – unfaithful

I have never been faithful, nor have I ever promised faithfulness in my life. And that’s the truth. My truth. Since I am not absolute, it could not be the absolute truth. Nonetheless, I stick with that truth, which makes me steadfast, and that is what faith is about. So, am I faithful after all, and thus not speaking the truth in the first place?

"Snow on the Water" - near Swan Lake, King William Island, Nunavut
“Snow on the Water” – near Swan Lake, King William Island, Nunavut

I hardly believe that worldly things are true. Just because you or I have witnessed something, and because you or I recall an event with certain confidence, does not make them true. An action might have been the right thing to do, or it might have been justifiable from a particular point of view.

How would I know that something is so true that I believe in it? I would have to trust – in an action faith – that my observation has no bias whatsoever. So, can a person who does not believe in the truth be a faithful person, or would such a person automatically be unfaithful?

I guess it depends. But certain things are unconditional and as such would not depend. They are, and I am certain of them. For instance, I believe in the good of every human being, but I don’t believe that any such being knows the truth; at least some truth – yes, and from a unique point of view. And I believe in the common good – because we are all One.

Since I have no proof for the above statements, nor have I observations to support these claims, I need to believe them – which makes me faithful again. Or at least half full. But never unfaithful.

And you can believe me or not, without loosing your faith.

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more on being faithful here

Gimme – humility practiced

As a child, I wished for a small bike - now I am driving a tall bike!
As a child, I wished for a small bike – now I am driving a tall bike!

Liebes Christkind,

kannst du mir dieses Jahr ein kleines Velo bringen? Ich möchte so gerne mit den anderen Kindern draussen rumfahren.

Besten Dank,

Othmar

Of course, these old letters to the Christ child are long gone and likely out of fashion. Our parents encouraged us every year to write them at some point in December, sort of like a wish list. But there was no equivalent to Santa and its spending power anywhere in sight. Our desires were usually well above the willingness and ability of our parents to comply.

So, I have very few memories of those Christmas wishes. But I certainly remember my wish to have a bicycle. There was mom’s old 3-speed in the garage; but it was rarely sufficient to meet the mobility needs of four youngsters, and it was even a rarer occurrence when we had allowed access to the use of the elegant two-wheeled cruiser.

The wish was carried forward and finally came true when I had some of my own earned Swiss francs. Now some thirtyfive years later, the bicycle is still a preferred mode of transportation, and one that can be fun once in a while, too.

[This is another blog post responding to the Daily Prompts, part of an exercise to expand my writing skills.]

Waiting for the surprise

Lukie the cat is waiting patiently at high noon on Christmas day, as on so many other days, on the sill of the bedroom window for all the possible surprises of this world. But in this subarctic, urban environment the surprises are few and the cat can get great enjoyment from the swaying movements of the dormant raspberry vines in the freezing wind. But maybe it is the magic of the reflecting sparkles on the snow, or from the ice crystals in the air that keeps the cat’s focus and attention. The winter sun is at its highest and brightest for the day; and within a cat’s snooze it will be dark again.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had the ability to sit in silence and to get inspired by the unassuming beauty of the creation, with the openness to invite the surprises that life brings us every day?

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Enjoyed the outcome of this challenge? For more information about it, click here: Daily Prompt or here: Weekly Photo Challenge.