Posted in Freedom, Heros’s, History

MLK – American hero

As we remember and honor the memory of Martin Luther King, his words ring across space and are timeless. There is a truth, a truth louder than ever, a truth for this very moment.

MLK speech from the Nobel Prize acceptance

“I refuse the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “outness” that forever confronts him.

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the River of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.

I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying on the blood flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.

I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the it minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.

I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land.

This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom.

When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.”

Posted in Culture, Freedom, History

Happy birthday America

July 4th, celebration of Independence Day here in the United States. It is said to be the land of the free with endless possibilities. If you can dream it, you can do it here most likely easier than any other place on earth, and the resources available will support you in the building and the reality of making your dreams come true.

America, where much of the landscape is still wild with a vast wilderness and a beauty that is majestic and takes your breath away. Where wild horses run free and the Wild West still exists. A land of glaciers and where the world erupts in volcanic hardship, leaving behind its own kind of beauty born from within it’s struggle. Where you can drive hours and hours and feel the wind in your hair with a sense of adventure and a feeling that makes your heart beat faster. A land that is getting faster and faster, catering to the convenience of a increasingly rushed society. America, land of oceans and mountains, deserts and wetlands, animals and spirits.

A land full of entrepreneurial spirit where it is possible to be anything you want. Where the Statue of Liberty stands guard to remind us of what’s important, what this country was build on, and what we should never forget. A land and melting pot uniting many cultures, talents and races with the hope to understand and respect one another and to be truly diverse and unique. A land where freedom rings.

America, rich in resources and fertile soil, where we have more food than we need and where poverty should not exist. And yet with every positive there also come challenges that this still fairly young country has yet to figure out and determine for what it really wants to be known for.

I am not going into political views as I sit here paying homage to the country that has been my home for the past 30+ years and which I have come to love. I debate what can be said on this holiday, this Independence Day that all of a sudden doesn’t feel so independent. What can be said about the current pandemic that has changed the dynamics and the lives of millions. I feel somewhat sad as I prepare for the aftermath when millions gather for what should be a joyous event to celebrate Independence Day and America’s birthday. I don’t want to turn on the news to hear about the spikes in corona virus cases as the many, proud to be an American, throw their independence and all cautions to the wind while a deadly virus sweeps through the land! Maybe I am the party popper, but many can’t see wearing a mask as a means of protecting ourselves and each other, and instead protest and complain, feeling that their rights are taken away! Personally I think that we are sending a message that doesn’t seem very smart, while other countries who have followed the guidelines have a much better handle on the pandemic.

An article from 2006 outlines what makes America so great and I can’t help compare it to now.

  • America’s good life for the ordinary guy
  • Equality
  • The pursuit of happiness
  • The ethics of work
  • Religious liberty
  • Ideals and interests
  • America’s virtue of being the freest nation on earth
In closing I say “Happy birthday America. I believe in you and I know you got what it takes to be truly great. You are a land of so many amazing things and potentials. You are a land of great promise and hope. This is your time to determine what message you really want to send. 2006 and what America was known for sounds like a great start. Happy 4th of July everyone, please be responsible so we can end this, and please stay safe.
Posted in Europe, History

Below…

This picture was taken visiting St. Wolfgangs church in Rothenburg o.d.T. It features an underground maze called kasematten with several small spaces, stairways, and tunnels that spread below the church and date back to Middle Age hiding places. Most of the tunnels are narrow with low ceilings and tight openings from one space to another. It is definitely worth a visit and places like these can be found throughout Germany.

Posted in Europe, History

The old fortress

Back to Germany and back to one of Mom’s favorite hangouts. The old fortress is privately owned these days and was converted into a guesthouse / hotel / and restaurant. A perfect mixture of old world charm with a modern flair. I got to spend the night there a few years back and would definitely do it again. Last year we got to celebrate Mom’s 80’s birthday there and it was a very special day.

This picture was taken at a later time with just Mom and me, enjoying a couple of deers in the foreground of the fortress.

Posted in History

Cemetery Wall

My first bicycle ride took me to the cemetery to visit Dad and water the graves. I stayed for awhile looking at the thick cemetery walls and the ornate wrought iron gate. It was past 9PM and the sun was setting to kiss goodbye another day. It was peaceful and the sound of birds singing filled the air. It was mostly silent and only one other person came who quickly disappeared after watering their grave. It was task, a chore, a duty and nothing more. I talked to Dad for a moment longer and soon was on my way too. The bike ran fine but I think I will take it to the local shop to have all gears adjusted for optimal performance. The bike has 24 gears and I learned that it gets more complex the more gets there are. Better safe than sorry. Remember I already lucked out once it’s the bike installing the wheel wrong.

Posted in Culture, History, Inspiration

Walpurgis Night

Witches with broomsticks and bonfires…oh my.

What do you think when you hear the word witch? Are you frightened or intrigued? Does the mind shift to a vision of ugliness, a person casting evil spells on others, a ghost or goblin to stay far away from, or do you see something else? I never really thought of it myself, but I know that there are different kinds of witches, good and bad. It was a comment that made me pause initially, when my dear friend Amanda seemed to believe that my black power hat might have a pointy tip. In the highest compliment she called me a witch with magic powers, based on my personal beliefs and mantras such as stopping time by living in the now. By turning my challenges into opportunities and make beauty out of everything that I see. And then Walpurgis Night happened shortly thereafter.

The beginning of May enters through many regions of Germany with some old and wonderful traditions. Somehow I felt drawn to Walpurgis Night which is April 30th into May 1st. It is a holiday that is named after Saint Walpurga and is a day that dates back to ancient pagan fertility rites. People would hang foliage sprigs around their homes and leave offerings of food for the dead that was believed to walk the earth. Walpurgis Night is said to be the night when witches flew on their broomsticks and gathered on the Brocken, the highest of North Central Germany’s Harz mountains, to celebrate and revel with the devil and otherwise enjoy themselves. Flying over the regions on their brooms, dancing around giant bonfires, while waiting for dawn to break, and waiving goodbye to winter. Others say it was a celebration and fest to ward off evil spirits. Maps of Germany with “Witches areas” were still drawn for unwary travelers, as late as the 18th century, which leads to believe that they didn’t only appear once a year. I heard that Walpurgis Night used to be celebrated in my hometown on top of the hill with the cross.

A few synchronicities found their way into my life again. One was the comment from Amanda, the timing of Walpurgis Night, the sleepless night of it, as well as this video. It’s from a group I never heard before, but the song immediately drew me in. Further research reveals that the group has contributed music to the TV show Vikings I regularly follow and love. Surprise…

Within the same timeframe I came across Pagan poetry, learned about a soul contract, and was flashed a picture of Brigid, the triple goddess of ruling healing, poetry and smith craft. I had no prior knowledge to either, but my eyes are wide open and I am taking innthe resources and healing along this journey. Tomorrow will be another big day for me, and hopefully I have not scared you away.