I feel a great sadness


destroying to build

losing our way to win

and dying so that others may live

In my hope

I feel a great sadness

   *     *    *

Bahá’ís are encouraged to see in the revolutionary changes taking place in every sphere of life the interaction of two fundamental processes. One is destructive in nature, while the other is integrative; both serve to carry humanity, each in its own way, along the path leading towards its full maturity. The operation of the former is everywhere apparent–in the vicissitudes that have afflicted time-honoured institutions, in the impotence of leaders at all levels to mend the fractures appearing in the structure of society, in the dismantling of social norms that have long-held in check unseemly passions, and in the despondency and indifference exhibited not only by individuals but also by entire societies that have lost any vital sense of purpose.

Though devastating in their effects, the forces of disintegration tend to sweep away barriers that block humanity’s progress, opening space for the process of integration to draw diverse groups together and disclosing new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Bahá’ís, of course, strive to align themselves, individually and collectively, with forces associated with the process of integration, which, they are confident, will continue to gain in strength, no matter how bleak the immediate horizons. Human affairs will be utterly reorganized, and an era of universal peace inaugurated.
(Universal House of Justice, To the Bahá’ís of Iran, 2 March 2013)

Do You Really Know What Matters To You?

Ridge we could see from our house

As pictures of Irene were coming at me from every TV channel I thought of all my blog-friends who were in its path and 1993.

In 1993 there was a destructive fire in the nearby town of Laguna Beach.  We could see the smoke and flames from our deck.  I remember going around the house and listing what I would take in the car if the fire were approaching and we had to evacuate:  The watercolors and oils my Mother painted; the folk art sculptures my Dad created in the last years of his life; a few pieces of jewelry, some masks from our collection, birth, social security, bank records, my purse with ID and credit cards; some changes of clothes; a few paintings I did in college, some pictures, a leash, a water dish and Max.

Last year we could see another fire in another location from our house.  I stood watching the smoke and flames and asked myself the same question:  What would I take?    The only thing I could think of was my purse and Max.  I figured my Husband would take care of himself!

It was quite a startling revelation that I had changed in the past 15+ years: Nothing material really mattered to me.  It could all burn down.  I even began imagining what I would do differently. Very strange, very interesting.  I’ve not changed my mind.

There’s a blog dedicated to that very subject created by Foster Huntington.  Here’s a bit of what he says about his blog:“The Burning House” showcases photos and lists of the things people would take with them if their house was burning. The project is a little over a month old and so far has received over three hundred submissions!”      

Read More of Foster Huntington’s interview on  http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2011/06/something-different-the-burning-house.html#ixzz1WOJsaa4y

Here’s what his instructions are:

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.   http://theburninghouse.com/

 What would your list include?