Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Orbs for Totilas!

It's the time of the year for stories.
How would you like a true story? A story brimming over with magic, and with more pictures than text?

Does that sound suitable, undemanding fare for the festive season?
Good . . . off we go . . .

Once upon a time there was a wonder-horse called Totilas. Well, if we're to be absolutely precise, his name is Moorlands Totilas, but, to his admirers worldwide,
his name (whispered in awed voices) is Totilas.

Renowned for his incredible dressage achievements, he was brought to London a few days before Christmas to compete in the International Horse Show at Olympia. My friend, Susan, who was visiting London, kindly invited me to join her for the finals. We were to be part of the privileged audience who would watch the legendary Totilas compete.

Surely, I thought to myself, the artistry, the music, the charisma and the heightened emotion of the audience, would be fertile ground for orbs?
Before leaving home, I put my camera in my handbag . . . just in case.

The Grand Hall was packed and, in the lead up to the dressage, there were other highly enjoyable items on the programme. These included a Shetland Pony Steeplechase.

I took a photo . . .

. . . as you can see (although, in this small version, the details are hard to make out), the excitement of the children, equalled by the excitement of the ponies, attracted several shadowy orbs in the background.

But, once the dressage started, the orbs disappeared. The competition was keen, the atmosphere intense . . . anxious . . . precise and careful. It was all highly impressive, but not, seemingly, conducive to orbs.

Until, that is, the moment arrived. The moment that everyone had been waiting for . . . the climax of the evening . . . the appearance of Edward Gal and Totilas!

And, wait for it . . . as the impressive black stallion entered the emotionally-charged arena, look what came with him!

Look carefully . . . there's nothing shadowy about these orbs, they're large . . . and substantial . . . and brilliant. Orbs that truly reflect the status of the incredible super-star.

And Totilas shone as brightly as the orbs. Rising effortlessly to the exalted heights of our expectations, he proceeded to give a spell-binding performance of effortless technique. In total harmony with his rider, he brought the gift of pure magic to his enchanted audience.

Was this a participant in a competition? That was not how it felt. It was sheer, unequalled artistry on generous display for those of us privileged to watch.
Motionless in our seats, we gazed awestruck . . . then, as Edward Gal and his incredible steed departed, the audience of eight thousand rose spontaneously to its feet and broke into thunderous applause.

Did they win the competition . . . ?
What do you think!
Not only did Totilas win, he gained the highest score of his illustrious career.

As for the orbs, I can't offer any explanation . . . I would never attempt to. Knowledge of what they are resides in the numinous, beyond the realms of mere understanding.
All I know is that when orbs appear there is often music . . . always joy . . . and always love.

One further thing is certain. If we could only make our world more conducive to orbs there's no doubt that we'd be creating a far better place for ourselves.

Those orbs endorsed an incredible evening.
Thank you, Totilas . . . thank you, Edward Gal . . . and bless you, Susan, for inviting me to an event I'll never forget.

I promised you a magical story . . . did you enjoy it?
Should Totilas return to London . . . well, what about it . . . ?

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Gift

(Instructions for Recognising and Using your Christmas Gift - to be read and studied when you are relaxed, with plenty of time to pay careful attention.)

This is a long-term Christmas gift. Be warned, it's very powerful.

When you switched on your computer today, did you notice something? If not, may I suggest that you examine the screen right now . . . sit back, relax, and look at it very carefully . . .

. . . now, have you noticed . . . can you see the extra radiance . . . the increased power to the light . . . the shimmer?

And can you hear something . . . ?

Take a deep breath and listen carefully . . . no, I'm not joking, listen . . . can you hear the sound of the Christmas Angels who are working this magic . . . ?

This is your Christmas gift, a shining, five-pointed star that has been designed to infiltrate your computer. Not only that, it will infiltrate every computer you use from now on.

As you start up your computer every morning, notice the extra glow . . . the extra shine . . . that is the power of the golden, five-pointed star radiating out of the computer screen towards you.

Not only will the Christmas Star bring a glow to your computer, it will also bring a glow to everything you read and write. Every study that you undertake in the year ahead will shine with hope and joy and peace. Every project that you work on will be radiant with promise and love. Even the practical emails will have an extra sparkle.

The joy and hope of Christmas, the promise of Christmas, the peace of Christmas, have permeated this piece of equipment and they can't be removed.

The gifts of Christmas, the gifts of love and laughter - for every baby brings the gift of laughter - will spread from this computer to everyone who receives your words, from this day forth and for evermore.
Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the first day of Christmas . . .

Have you a moment to share a delightfully surprising story?

When the postal strike was called off I decided that it was time to think seriously about Christmas. Christmas cards . . . Christmas presents . . . I went ferreting around in the bedroom and dragged out the 'Christmas Box' that surfaces every year. Inside I keep any remaining unused cards from the previous year, my 'Christmas Card Book' and a handful of decorations.

I discovered to my pleasure that I had quite a few unused cards, which meant that I had less to buy. I then sorted out the pile of charity catalogues that have arrived, with the intention of choosing cards and presents.

All the cards I received last year have been long since sent for recycling, so it was surprising to find a solitary used card amongst the batch of unused ones. I opened it.

Do you remember my friend Tina? The friend who died last Easter and was so interested in my orb photographs? Remember?

This card, the sole card remaining from over a hundred that I'd received last year, was the one I'd received from Tina.
Inside I read:
"Lots of love, dear, and may you have a wonderful Christmas . . . from Tina"

Last month I had a birthday card from my mother .. . . this month my first Christmas card has come from Tina . . . it's all totally surprising . . . and really rather wonderful!

Happy Christmas, Tina . . . and thank you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Divine Whodunnit

I know that life has been called a Divine Comedy, but I can't help feeling that it's every bit as much a Divine Whodunnit. A mystery story complete with enough twists and turns to satisfy Agatha Christie.

Have you a moment to hear about Rare Earth? I'd never heard of it before, and it's possible that you haven't either.
Let me tell you what I learned the other day on Channel 4, something that puts an unexpected, and unwelcome, twist into the green technology story.

When I went on the Climate Change march last week I thought, in my innocence, that all green technologies were wholly innocent and good. Would that the story of our planet were so simple!

It came as a revelation to learn that Rare Earth is a combination of mineral elements that are absolutely essential to green technology.
You want wind farms? You need Rare Earth. You want electric cars? You definitely need Rare Earth. You want computers? Yes, it's Rare Earth once again that makes the IT revolution possible.

And where do you find this Rare Earth? It appears that ninety-five per cent of the world's supply is mined in China and Mongolia, from where it is exported.
In Mongolia, where the main mines exist, mining for Rare Earth has ravaged the landscape, poisoned the rivers, rendered the land infertile, and caused the native inhabitants of the area to evacuate their villages as they can no longer produce food or continue to live in the poisonous atmosphere. In other words, it seems that green technology is starting to be detrimental to the environment in the way that we've already seen with fossil fuel-powered technology.

I'd no idea about this. Had you?

As China can no longer produce sufficient Rare Earth to satisfy global needs, it's now being suggested that the world will have to start mining elsewhere.
Perhaps it might also be wise to start looking for an environmentally friendly equivalent of Rare Earth . . . wait a minute now, am I getting forgetful or haven't we said something very similar before . . . ?

If the current story of life on our planet is a Divine Whodunnit, there's not the slight doubt who did it. It doesn't take a Miss Marple to uncover the clues of greed and thoughtlessness that
we've left scattered over every chapter.

Will our story have a happy ending . . . will we all 'live happily ever after' . . . ?

But, no . . . we can't cheat and skip to the last pages of the book. Instead, let's be positive. Our world is too wonderful, too precious, to lose . . . we want to stay here . . . how would you like a solar-powered torch for Christmas? Always provided we can find one that doesn't contain Rare Earth!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Only a point of view

Did you hear that interesting item on the news this morning? The item where they were discussing how, with the wide variety of international news sources, young people are culling their television news not just from the BBC, ITN and Sky, but also from the Middle East, the States and anywhere you like to name. Nor are those who trawl the web restricted to the British Press. They can find variations of the same international stories around the globe.
This, needless to say, provides as many viewpoints on what's happening as it does news stories!
It also provokes the question: how impartial is 'news'?

Have you a moment for some explorative pondering?

I don't think I told you that Polly came to tea the other week. Polly is a much-acclaimed professional photographer. You'd love her work, it's thought-provoking, amusing and perceptive. In fact it superbly illustrates the fact that a photograph is a work of art. Not only is it a work of art, it is also a reflection of the mind of the photographer. Polly's photographs are not just the world as viewed through the lens of her camera, they are the world as seen through the eyes and mind of Polly.

Which brings us back to that discussion on the radio this morning. Seen through the lens of the UK media, the situation in Afghanistan may, and probably does, differ widely from the version broadcast in the Middle East. In the same way, a news item relegated to a small paragraph on a back-page in this country may command front-page dominance elsewhere.
As with Polly and her camera, the news comes through the eyes and mind-set of those experiencing it. However impartial we try to be, our reports and reactions are filtered through a miasma of opinion, a lifetime of experience.

Is there any way that we can get behind another person's eyes and see the world from their point of view?
I wish there were . . . but I don't think so.
May I tell you a silly story to illustrate this point? When I was a small child there was a question that used to bother me. How, I wondered, could it be proved that, when I looked up into the sky, the blue that I was seeing was the same blue as everyone else was seeing? There seemed to be no way of proving this. Even more disturbing was the fact that the blue seen through my left eye was a distinctly different shade of blue to that viewed from my right eye! Even my two eyes had a different point of view . . . they still have! If my eyes beg to differ, what hope can there be for two people . . . ?

I don't think I've told you about a fascinating book that I'm reading at the moment. It's by Roberto Kaplan, and it's called 'Conscious Seeing'.
One point it makes is that we have become far too obsessed with 'looking' as distinct from 'seeing'. Think about it for a moment. A news reporter 'looks' for a slant on the news, he doesn't necessarily 'see' the whole picture. The words themselves reflect the difference in meaning. We say, "I see!" at moments of insight, we don't say, "I look!". Looking infers that you are focused on the specific at the expense of the bigger picture . . . it usually involves thinking and concentration. Seeing, on the other hand, is being open to what is there . . . it is intuitive, sensitive and perceptive.
Am I right in thinking that our culture seems to be growing more and more focused on looking, thereby fragmenting and losing sight of the whole?

I'm sorry, I'm rambling on and your time is precious.
So . . . can we share any conclusions . . .?

That whatever you hear . . . whatever you read . . . however much you may consider you agree or disagree . . . it all comes filtered through the eyes and mind of the person communicating. However well-written, passionately expressed, or widely circulated, it is, in the end, only a point of view.

And truth . . . ?
I only know that truth shines with a very bright light . . . a light much brighter than words, a light that is instantly recognisable and needs no interpretation.

This would seem to be my cue to stop using unnecessary words and let the light shine in . . . farewell!