Friday, February 28, 2014

Being on the Guest List

Your life is worth a huge celebration!
Anyone who can't understand that should be left off the guest list!

It's a special day when you receive an invitation from the Prime Minister. I can say that it is an unique day in my life. I was honoured to be included on the guest list for this afternoon's address by His Highness the Aga Khan at the venerable Massey Hall. His wise words presented a global perspective for fostering tolerance and peace. I only hope that the homeland lives up to his words of praise for our inclusiveness and reaches out to an ailing world.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Perfect Nonsense

Perfect nonsense goes on in the world. Sometimes there is no plausibility at all.
Nikolai Gogol, Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist (1809-1852) in The Nose

Elmo floated high above, caught in the airport terminal's rafters, as Jimmy Buffett sang out "Wastin' away again in Margaritaville . . ." over the public address system. What reality am I in?

It was such a surreal experience in an otherwise mundane wait for a VIP to arrive and be escorted to his hotel. Thank goodness for these moments of perfect nonsense.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Illumine Me

Love shines as the solitary star.
Faith is the inner light
You and I together mirror the Light of Lights,
and illumine the pathway home.
Love Shines as the Solitary Star hymn

I have been sitting in my rocking chair draped with a quilt made by impoverished women in Cairo. Its lighthouse imagery seemed to call me back to a lovely hymn sung in church today. I am certainly seeking a guiding light as I try to compose a reflection on my experience in Egypt. How to patch so many narratives, so many blessings and challenges, into one small picture that somehow enlightens my hometown audience is a daunting challenge. I have heard it said, "Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." May it be so.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Communicating Once Again

Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
Walt Disney

Finally! Finally, my little abode is connected to the outside world. My little Wind stick provides the necessary link to the world beyond my window. I am very excited by the possibilities and feel that my new life here is now functional.

Last Friday I watched the full moon rise and, perhaps for the first time, recognized the man-in-the-moon's face here in the homeland. I don't think I have seen him since I departed my beloved Egypt. But there he was, with his face tilted slightly to the right, looking quizzically at me through the mashrabeyya as if to say, "What are you doing there?" To be honest, I didn't have an answer for him -- so I had a another sip of wine and welcomed him into my home.

With a glass of wine and a mobile modem stick I am well set for conversation. You and the man-in-the-moon will find me sitting here in the rocking chair more often from now on.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wintery Sunrise

Laughter is the sun that drives away the winter from the human face.
Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist and dramatist (1802-1885)

With last weekend's snow and the week's pre-dawn commutes to work, today marked my first opportunity to bask in the glory of the Sun shining in my living room window. Sunshine has been so elusive that it appeared positively exotic infiltrating my mashrabeyya screen. What a wonderful surprise to wake up to! It made my morning coffee taste all the better and it made my new abode feel all the more homey.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Awaiting Stars that Dance

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche, German polymath (1844-1900)

I am sitting in a corner coffeeshop making use of its offer of free wifi with every beverage purchase. Lack of Internet access necessitates some hardship, but I can handle it when it comes mixed with hot chocolate and whipped cream. ;-) I moved into my little abode on Thursday and I'm still awaiting the birth of dancing stars from amidst the chaos. Stay tuned. Once I get organized and get my own internet connection, I'll be happy to invite you over and share some photos. Until then, thank you Tim.