Archive for November, 2010

Dialogue with the heart

November 27, 2010
Illustration from The Alchemist Calendar 2011

Illustration from The Alchemist Calendar 2011

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”

“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”

“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”

“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”

“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”

“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.

“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”

From The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and posted on his blog. Part of of the dialogue between Santiago the shepherd boy and the Alchemist on their way to the pyramids.

Celebrating next week THREE YEARS in the New York Times Bestseller List.

Student Walkout 24th November 2010

November 27, 2010

stop the cuts

Also see

Mounted Police charge protesters

New Kids on the Black Block

Student occupation of Millbank Tower Tory HQ

Maher Zain – Palestine Will Be Free | ماهر زين – فلسطين سوف تتحرر

November 27, 2010

Mounted Police charge protesters

November 27, 2010
police state

police state

“I was at the debrief last night, there was no reference to that whatsoever and I have no reference to it.” — Sir Paul Stephenson, Met Police Commissioner

Without warning mounted police charged protesters during the student demonstrations in London on Wednesday night (24 November 2010). The police also illegally detained protesters on the streets for several hours even though temperatures were dropping below freezing.

The police lines parted and without any warning mounted police charged protesters.

At a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority the day after the protests, the Met’s commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, was asked if there had been horse charges at the protests. He replied: “I was at the debrief last night, there was no reference to that whatsoever and I have no reference to it.”

Now either Sir Paul Stephenson is a blatant liar or he is incompetent and does not know what his own police force is doing. Either way he should be fired as he has demonstrated he is not fit to hold public office. Whoever gave the order for the mounted police charge should also be held accountable.

At the G20 protests last year a police officer killed a man. At first this was denied. No one has been charged with Ian Tomlinson’s death.

Also see

Student protests: Met under fire for charging at demonstrators

UK-wide Student Resistance to the Cuts

Inside the Whitehall kettle

Student Walkout 24th November 2010

New Kids on the Black Block

SchNEWS 748: Hissy F.I.T

Anti Cuts Media Explosion in Bristol

More legal advice for student occupations

Mounted Police Charging Protesters At Whitehall

More evidence of police brutality emerges

New Sky video raises questions about #baitvan

Student occupation of Millbank Tower Tory HQ

Christmas Tree Festival at St Mark’s

November 27, 2010
Christmas tree festival at St Mark's

Christmas tree festival at St Mark's

I did not know I was going to a Christmas Tree Festival, I thought I was going to a Christmas Fayre, you know what I mean, stalls, Christmas Cards, mince pies and tea. I did not even know what a Christmas Tree Festival was. I am still not sure.

As I headed towards the church hall I saw that the lights were on in the church. Maybe that is where it is I thought, looked in the church hall and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw what appeared to be a yoga class, definitely not a Christmas Fayre. I headed over to the church, pushed open the door and it took my breath away.

The church was packed. Stalls everywhere. A choir singing. Christmas trees everywhere. And something I had never seen, the church lit up inside at night. St Mark’s is red brick Victorian, from the outside not worth a second glance, but inside, yes, well worth visiting.

I said hello to the vicar, then sorry I must dash, got to go home to get my camera. I ran home and back, probably not a wise thing to do, as below freezing, but luckily it had been very dry for a few days and therefore not icy underfoot, at least not under my feet.

To think I almost did not go. I was thinking why have a Christmas Fayre in the evening when it is cold and no one wants to venture out, why not have it in the daytime when less cold. But I could see why it was at night, and yes, people did venture out. My only regret not going on time and not taking my camera. By the time I got back people were already leaving and I just caught the tail end of the choir.

My other regret was that my lovely friend Sian was not there.

I have never come across a Christmas Tree Festival before. This is a four day event. The market on Friday night, Saturday night Jazz-funk night with the church turned into a nightclub including a bar (yes, you did not misread), Sunday afternoon a Christingle Service with candles, then afternoon tea on Monday.

I would have loved to have gone to the Jazz-funk night with my lovely friend Sian but sadly she has not been well. Maybe she will be up to it. Going on my own without her is no fun.

And yes there was tea and mince pies. And there was mulled wine, but I did not get around to either. I was too busy chatting to people.

I talked to several people about the sale of Israeli so-called Peace Oil on sale in St Mary’s Church in Guildford. All agreed it was a scandal. [see Peace oil or taking the piss?]

The money raised from the Christmas Tree Festival will go to the repair fund as the roof is leaking.

Sheryl Crow – Run Baby Run

November 26, 2010

From Wildflower Tour, live in New York.

Rod Stewart – The First Cut is the Deepest

November 26, 2010

Classic Rod Stewart. Royal Albert Hall, London.

Sheryl Crow – The First Cut Is The Deepest

November 26, 2010

Brilliant perfomance by Sheryl Crow of the Rod Stewart classic The First Cut Is The Deepest.

From Wildflower Tour, live in New York.

Mary Margaret tells the story of Jonah

November 26, 2010

Normally I would find someting like this yuk, but she is brilliant. I could not stop laughing.

Also see

Christingle at St Mark’s

O Aleph

November 26, 2010

O Aleph by Paulo Coelho was released in Brazil during the summer. It is not due for worldwide release until January 2011.

Also see

O Aleph

Aleph