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Books I've Been Reading
  • Life on Earth: Understanding Who We Are, How We Got Here, and What May Lie Ahead
    Life on Earth: Understanding Who We Are, How We Got Here, and What May Lie Ahead
    by Mike Dooley
  • The Japanese Art of Reiki: A Practical Guide to Self-Healing
    The Japanese Art of Reiki: A Practical Guide to Self-Healing
    by Bronwen Stiene, Frans Stiene
  • What's Your What?
    What's Your What?
    by Julie Moret
  • California: Then and Now®: People and Places
    California: Then and Now®: People and Places
    Pavilion
  • Security is a Thumb and a Blanket (Peanuts)
    Security is a Thumb and a Blanket (Peanuts)
    by Charles M. Schulz
  • The Voice of Rolling Thunder: A Medicine Man's Wisdom for Walking the Red Road
    The Voice of Rolling Thunder: A Medicine Man's Wisdom for Walking the Red Road
    by Sidian Morning Star Jones, Stanley Krippner Ph.D.
  • Myths of the Cherokee
    Myths of the Cherokee
    by James Mooney
  • What to Do When it's Your Turn (and it's Always Your Turn)
    What to Do When it's Your Turn (and it's Always Your Turn)
    by Seth Godin
  • Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison
    Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison
    by Gary Tillery
  • Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See
    Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See
    by Bill Shapiro
  • Beatitude Golden Anniversary 1959-2009 (Beatitude Literary Magazine, Volume 50)
    Beatitude Golden Anniversary 1959-2009 (Beatitude Literary Magazine, Volume 50)
    by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
    Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
    by Shel Silverstein
  • Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You: A Journal
    Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You: A Journal
    by Robie Rogge, Dian Smith
  • PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God
    PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God
    by Frank Warren
  • The Field and Forest Handy Book: New Ideas for Out of Doors (Nonpareil Book)
    The Field and Forest Handy Book: New Ideas for Out of Doors (Nonpareil Book)
    by Daniel Carter Beard, David R. Godine
  • American Girls Handy Book: How to Amuse Yourself and Others (Nonpareil Books)
    American Girls Handy Book: How to Amuse Yourself and Others (Nonpareil Books)
    by Lina Beard, Adelia Beard
  • The Secret Language of Birthdays: Your Complete Personology Guide for Each Day of the Year
    The Secret Language of Birthdays: Your Complete Personology Guide for Each Day of the Year
    by Gary Goldschneider, Joost Elffers
  • American Splendor and More American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar
    American Splendor and More American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar
    by Harvey Pekar
  • I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
    I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
    by Amy Sedaris
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story
    A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story
    by Donald Miller
  • The Growing Edge
    The Growing Edge
    by Howard Thurman
  • Mind as Healer Mind as Slayer: A Holistic Approach to Preventing Stre
    Mind as Healer Mind as Slayer: A Holistic Approach to Preventing Stre
    by J.K
  • Kindred Spirits
    Kindred Spirits
    by Matthew & Terces Engelhart
  • Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality
    Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality
    by Thomas Moore
  • 1000 Ultimate Adventures
    1000 Ultimate Adventures
    by Lonely Planet
  • Last Words
    Last Words
    by George Carlin
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding
    Seriously...I'm Kidding
    by Ellen DeGeneres
  • Cash: The Autobiography
    Cash: The Autobiography
    by Johnny Cash
  • It Happened in Oklahoma (It Happened In Series)
    It Happened in Oklahoma (It Happened In Series)
    by Robert L. Dorman
  • Lost Austin (Images of America)
    Lost Austin (Images of America)
    by John H. Slate
  • Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
    Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
    by Gregory Boyle
  • Milk and Honey
    Milk and Honey
    by Rupi Kaur
  • Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately
    Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately
    by Alicia Cook
  • The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook (Official Keepsake Box Set)
    The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook (Official Keepsake Box Set)
    by Kim Krans
  • Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice (Art and Imagination)
    Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice (Art and Imagination)
    by Robert Lawlor
  • The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot
    The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot
    by Johannes Fiebig, Evelin Burger
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Sunday
Feb032008

Monday, February 4, 2008 - The Self-Encounter

An direct excerpt from "The Inward Journey" a book by Howard Thurman.
(Essay 22, Page 39-40.)

The Self-Encounter
When have you last had a good session with yourself? Or have you ever had it out with you?

Most often you are brought face to face with yourself only when such an encounter is forced upon you. Usually it is in connection with a crisis situation. There is a death in the immediate circle of close family or friends with the result that definite changes must be made in your way of thinking or living. You must accustom yourself to living without the active relationship of the departed one. Or it may be that there is the quickening discovery that your parents are old and can no longer relate to you at the point of your needs but you must relate to them at the point of their need.

There may be other causes for self-confrontation. A chance remark from a friend may bring you quickly to face the fact that you are a pretender in your relations with others, and that you have never faced up to your own lack of integrity in word and in act. In a time of temper you may say things of which you are deeply ashamed, not so much because you said them - that is bad enough - but because you were capable of thinking them. You may discover that in trying to make a decision involving a course of action, you are utterly incompetent to do so because you have never claimed your mind as your own. All through the years you have drifted from one position to another, letting your meaning be determined by your response to others or their demands - not determined by how you felt, really, nor what you personally thought. Now you look for some clue outside yourself and there is none to be found. YOU must decide and abide.

Whatever may be the occasion there comes a deep necessity which leads you finally into the closet with yourself. It is here that you raise the real questions about yourself. The leading one is, What is it, after all, that I amount to, ultimately? Such a question cuts through all that is superficial and trivial in life to the very nerve center of yourself. And this is a religious question because it deals with the total meaning of life at its heart. At such a moment, and at such a time, you must discover for yourself what is the TRUE basis of your self-respect. This is found only in relation to God whose Presence makes itself known in the most lucid moments of self-awareness. For all of us are His children and the most crucial clue to a knowledge of Him is to be found in the most honest and most total knowledge of the self.

Friday
Feb012008

Regarding Heath


Category: Life

Michelle Wiliams is speaking publicly for the first time since the tragic death of Heath Ledger.

The grieving actress' publicist released a statement on Friday. It reads:

"Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day. His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up with the best memories of him."

My thoughts are with her and Matilda.

Death has been coming around more often in my life in the past few years.  Consistently reminding me that mortality is awaiting each of us, regardless of age or circumstance.  From my Nana Self to Anna Nicole to my dear friend Reed, death has taken its sweet time reminding each of us, that it's only a matter of time.  It is all only a matter of time.

What are we doing with those moments in-between birth and death?  Are you enjoying yourself?  Am I?  Have you spent time, today, doing something that you love?  What is it that you really love?  Have you spent any time in silence?  What does it feel like when you allow yourself to sit in silence?  How does it feel?  How does your heart feel? 

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up each morning.  What fuels you to continue on?  What inspires you?  Where are you headed?  Where am I headed?

This blog isn't meant to provide any answers, and really I didn't set out to magnify my own confusion-but, I suppose what I really wanted to say with this little clutter of words is this:

There is something eternal about each of us.  Something deep inside that goes on forever.  Somewhere, when you turn inward, you realize that there is a part of you that has never been hurt, harmed, hindered, or altered in any way.  It is a re-presentation of the Life Force that expresses itself through each and every one of us. 

It is this internal individual, yet collective experience of eternality that I hope for, it is this that I cling to.  And, death only serves as an opportunity for this enternality in each of us, to transcend.

I bet Matilda Rose does have some of Heath's joy in her eyes.  And, it's the fact that I know it's protected deep within her, that encourages me that life is still worth living.

You know?



Friday
Jan182008


Category: Religion and Philosophy

U2 Lyrics - 40

(They played this song at Reed's Funeral)

"I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry.
He brought me right out of the pit,
out of my miry clay.
I will sing a new song,
How long to sing this song?
He set my feet upon a rock,
and made my footsteps heard.
Many will see,
Many will see and fear.
I will sing, sing a new song.
How long to sing this song?"

Truth is, I'm still heart-sick over losing Reed.  The crying bits have gone-for the most part- but, that thick nauseous lump in my throat creeps up frequently.  (Especially ANY time I hear U2 or Depeche Mode.) 

I'm flying to the Fiji Islands today.  Halfway around the world and away from my loved ones.

I am terrified.  I do not want to go.

Not because I think something "bad" will happen.  I've travelled alone across the ocean before.  It all will be okay...but, right now-I don't want to be away from my family at all.  I have not healed.  I do not feel okay, and quite honestly - I can feel the emptiness in the world now that Reed's gone.  There's a void, a lack of warmth, a black hole.

Now, I feel the tears creeping up again. 

Earlier today I mentioned that I'm going to take this trip to Fiji as an opportunity to seek God.  That I will do.  I know I'll see His face in the beauty all around that place.

But, God...

sometimes all I really want is to crawl under the covers to find you.

 

With love, pensive action, yet courage to overcome,

hillary



Monday
Jan142008

A Conversation with Stephen King

Recently, I was at the Hair Stylist, and ran across the December 10, 2007 issue of Time Magazine. Inside, Time had asked several prominent individuals whom they would choose for the 2007 Person of the Year.

Stephen King's response captivated me. 
"Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan symbolize the media's growing obsession with issues of personality over substance. People care more about the details of Spears' child-custody case than they do about where the billions the U.S. government has poured into Iraq have gone. It's time for a discussion about whether the news media have chucked their responsibilities and run off to Tabloid Disneyland."

Man, I'd love to brew a pot of coffee and just listen to him talk about this. I suppose this speaks, furthest of all, about our macabe and morbid fascination with social and mental illnesses...but, it's hard to not look at a train-wreck occurring in front of your face.

That being said, I must counter to Mister King that I have personally have always distrusted the media, therefore I cannot accuse them of chucking any responsibility. I've never considered them to be a completely responsible resource anyway. I suppose the point here is this:

No one source or conglomeration of informational resources can be considered responsible for society's ills. Our media is simply a mirror of our society, at large. We are not a necessarily independent and socially conscious society. Not currently, anyway...and, for that we can only blame ourselves. 

If the media is covering Britney's Breakdown more than the Ron Paul Newsletter Melt-down, it's because their customers (us) are demanding that sort of coverage, and are tuning in for it.

Now, media is responsible for providing metaphorical food for a social dialogue and because so many of us blindly tune in-we also regurgitate whatever it is we've been fed. But, it's up to us to restrict our diet, and vary the food we give our brains. I know this is the last thing you want to hear, Mr. King-but, if you're upset by the media's "shirking" of responsible dialogue, I encourage you to start that dialogue yourself. (Which, I know you have just done, and for that I thank you.)

Mr. King, you do your thing, and you do it well. But, in response to your question about if the medai have chucked their responsibly and run off to "Tabloid Disneyland" I must say this: I will no more consider you responsible for my childhood nightmares of rabies-ridden Cujo dogs, than I consider NBC responsible for informing me, wholistically, about my society.

It is my job as a human being to seek out information for all sources, and to determine which areas I am going to devote my time and energy towards.

And, I think you and I both agree that good things happen when people are proactive, rather than reactive.

We do need variety in our news sources, just as we do in our news coverage. But, I think the greater idea here is to just ask the people of the US to consider diversifying their dialogue, refocusing their consciousness, and subsidizing their efforts in a positive direction. 

Let's DO talk politics.
Let's DO talk religion.
Tell me about your aspirations, 
ask about my political affiliation.

Let's have a social dialogue,
Let's stand up and fight for something.
Let's go to the shelter to adopt a dog,
Let's tithe that $50 instead of sushi.

I am feeling a real awakening inside of my spirit and my mind. A longing for deeper meaning-and a more engaged experience within my world.

I no longer want to anesthesize myself with tabloid gossip, tv news, and fast food...

I want to slow down, breathe deep, and look within.
I want to frame up, and center down-to reconsider different perspectives.

Join me, if you will.
Or, help me catch up with you if you're willing.


:)

Good Afternoon, Mr. King. Thanks for the meaningful, imaginary conversation.

Thursday
Jan032008

About me: circa early 2008

Well, heya, 2008-

You kinda crept up on me, there. I didn't see ya comin'. But, I'm glad you're here.

In the cold recesses of winter, I was starting to get lost...so, it's nice to have a swift kick in the pants and a reminder that life is perpetually moving forward. And, you...2008 seem to be spectacular. I am so excited to delve right into the opportunity and promise that already has been presented in your name.

Yes, I believe 2008 is a banner year. Something to be looked back upon and smiled about. Like 2007, 1998, 2005, 2002, or even 1985. 

Each year I seem to have a few accomplishments or happenings that help me to define them and remember each of them as separate and complete segments of time. What did 2007 impress upon me?

-I am an eccentric and I really am amused by this fact.

-Days full of sunshine are meant to be spent outdoors.

-I might actually be a "dog" person, too. (We all know I'm a future cat-lady in the making. Such aspirations, I have.)

-Friendship transcends miles, telephone lines, and cable modems. It presents itself in text messages, hugs, random letters in the mail, and pints of beer (combined with laughter).

-I'm going to be alright.

-I'm really quite good at loving.

-I still can nail that 3-point shot I was notorious for in 9th grade.

-I can surf! (No...I don't think you understand...I can SURF!) :) yiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

-Work can actually be something that inspires you, while it pays the bills. Novel!

-I'm still a flake, but I'm learning to own up to it. I'm also learning to surround myself with friends that accept me for me...flakiness and all.

-I have some things in common with Howard Hughes. (Yes, even some of the weird stuff.)

-I have hopes to open my own blog page in the next year, and 2007 was the year that Elliott purchased www.hillarybanks.com for me...and told me to do it! :) (I think another "yiiiiiiiiii" is in order.) 

-Drama can be managed quite easily. Simply "cut. it. out". 

-Home truly is where your heart is. (P.S. Your heart tends to be where cool people that you love live.)

-I've got a lot of amazing friends in my life.

-I am a very grateful girl.

2008: I can't wait to see you shine! Let's do this deal. :)

Love,
Hillary