What is not in your power to do — to change your enemy — thence, help heal your pain by letting go of your vengeance

 

 

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+love+your+neighbor&qpvt=images+love+your+neighbor&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=EA6A491156BA937F2157D5A5AF687C2F204D517E&selectedIndex=54

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+love+your+neighbor&qpvt=images+love+your+neighbor&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=390EFA0DB02CC12ED55B6382A81335647B78A8DE&selectedIndex=131

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/how-to-love-your-enemies_b_841538.html

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Most of us, sadly, go through life with, for better or worse, and no matter how hard we try, a few people we may feel are our “enemies.” Or, more broadly, people seem to hate us. There are people whom we’ve offended and to whom we’ve apologized, but who refuse to accept our apologies. There are people at work who we’ve angered, who are jealous of us or who have set themselves against us. There are people in our families who hold a grudge against us for some mysterious reason that we can never comprehend. And there are people who seem to dislike us or wish us ill for no good reason. It’s a sad part of human life.

And it’s a hard part of life. And sometimes, when we hear Jesus telling us to love our enemies, it seems to make things even harder.

In the Gospel of Matthew (5:38-48), Jesus contrasts what his disciples had heard in the past with what they must practice as his followers. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye.’ But I say to you offer no resistance to one who is evil,” he says. “You have heard that it was said that you must love your neighbors and hate your enemies. But I say to you love your enemies.” Jesus is trying to move the disciples beyond what they knew into a realm of practice that will help them follow Jesus, to live according to a new law, the law of love.

But there’s a problem: it seems impossible! How are we supposed to love our enemies sincerely? Are we really supposed to pray for … whom? For people who hate us? For people who work against us? For people who want us to fail? It seems almost masochistic — a surefire recipe for psychological disaster.

A few things might help us understand what Jesus means. Now, I’m not going to water down these passages, but as in all the Gospel narratives, it’s important to understand the context of Jesus’s comments, and how they may have been understood in his time.

For example, when Jesus talks about someone turning the other cheek, many Scripture scholars feel that he’s talking about a particular act.  The Gospel of Matthew specifies that the “right cheek.” This means the blow comes from the back of the assailant’s left hand, and therefore constitutes an insult not a violent assault.  So some scholars say that when Jesus says the “other cheek,” the idea is that when you’re insulted by a slap on the cheek you should turn away and not retaliate. It’s not so much an invitation for someone to keep hitting you as it is for you not to retaliate. So that may help us understand things.

Likewise, the word Jesus used when he talks about loving your enemies is not the same word that is used in other discussions of love. In ancient Greek, the language of the Gospels, there are three words for love: first, philios, which was a kind of fraternal or friendly love (and where we get the word Philadelphia) and second, eros, a romantic love.

But the word Jesus uses here is the third kind of love, agape, a sort of unconquerable benevolence or invincible goodwill. We’re supposed to agape our enemies. Jesus is asking us to agape people no matter what they do to us, no matter how they treat us, no matter how they insult us. No matter what their actions we never allow bitterness against them to invade our hearts, but will treat them with goodwill. 

So it doesn’t mean that we have to love our enemies the same way that we speak about “falling in love” with someone or the way we love our family members. It simply means we must open our hearts to them.

And pray for them, too. In my experience, it’s easier to agape someone you dislike (or who dislikes you) when you pray for them. Because when you pray for them, God often opens your heart to seeing people the way that God sees them, rather than the way you see them.  And you can often have pity for people who may be filled with anger toward you.

But even when you understand all these things, and even if you read Scripture commentaries, these remain difficult things to hear.  Even harder to follow.  Loving your enemies and pray for those who persecute you is hard. In my life I’ve found it probably the most difficult thing to do as a Christian. Many years ago, for example, I lived with another Jesuit who simply refused to talk to me.  He despised me.  And I couldn’t figure out why and efforts at reconciliation failed miserably.  No matter what I did, nothing changed his attitude.

Over the course of many years, in light of that experience, and in light of meditating on the Gospels, I realized three things about loving your enemies. 

First of all, some people may simply dislike you.  So it’s useless to try to “get” them to like you, much less to love you. It’s useless to try to change them. You can be open to reconciliation, but you have no control over whether someone will reconcile with you. Part of this process is embracing your own powerlessness. Letting go is paramount.

Second, turning away from insults, hatred and contempt and “offering the other cheek” is emotionally healthy. Now, some schools of psychology say that you should always give vent to anger (rather than let it fester) but always responding with vituperation or vengefulness is rather a childish thing to do. Only a baby gives vent to his or her anger all the time. You can acknowledge your anger, perhaps express frustration you have in a calm way, but you don’t have to respond in kind. 

Basically, and to put it less elegantly than Jesus, if your enemy behaves like a jerk toward you, there’s no reason you have to act like a jerk toward him.

Third, loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you is liberating. Too often we can find ourselves in pitched battles with the people who hate us, always seeking the upper hand, always noting who’s up and who’s down, always analyzing every slight. You see this in families and even in office environments, where people are trapped into cycles of vengefulness. It wears both parties down and dehumanizes everyone involved. I’ve seen couples, for example, whose marriages are utterly destroyed by the inability to forgive; the two become like scorpions in a jar. Jesus is offering us a way out of all that.

So what Jesus is telling us is hard, but it’s not impossible. And it’s necessary, too, because ultimately he is inviting us not only to forgiveness and charity but to something else: freedom and happiness. So you have heard that it was said, and you have heard that it was said to you by Jesus, who wants you to be happy.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/my-wish-for-christian-keenan-1-corinthians-1510-filled-with-grace-within/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=biblical+Paul+new+creation&qpvt=biblical+Paul+new+creation&FORM=IGRE&&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=1#view=detail&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=0

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Asking For Help

Mindfulness Benefits

Dreaming

Free Your Mind

Morning Mindfulness Practice

Emotional Health

Tibeten Buddhism

Meditation Tips

Christies In China

Uyuni Salt Flats

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

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When you know that a Christian is dead inside (e.g. needlessly suffering by being angry with the world),  then it’s time for Biblical Paul’s recitation on inner Grace – being regenerated, called, sanctified  —

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a new creation, baby!!   

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The heretofore unsearchable/unreachable solace of Christ

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Grace gives us the desire and the power from God to do His will  —

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to give life a chance, baby!!

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  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace#Christianity

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/i-ask-myself-to-make-it-to-tomorrow-for-life-to-start-anew-i-need-to-move-beyond-todays-loss/

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http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/15-10.htm

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Rhema (inner voice) [pronounced “ray-ma”]  & life application  –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

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http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2012/11/global-child-poverty-changing-the-story/

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When it comes to helping people in need, one of the stories that should spark our imagination remains Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan

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The aspect of the parable I would point out here is its personal nature [very specific]

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To demonstrate how (and to whom) we ought to show compassion

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Jesus does not speak in generalities. 

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He gives a specific situation,

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where one individual (the Samaritan) must make a decision about how

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to treat another specific individual (the Jew set upon by robbers). 

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Christian mercy is not about generalized theories,

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but about specifics.

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Since Jesus lived in an oral culture,

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scholars expect that short, memorable stories or phrases

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as applications of Scripture

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are from Jesus.    

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For example, “love your enemies.”   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Criteria_for_authenticity

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Turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of His audience:

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He/Jesus preached of “Heaven’s imperial rule” [traditionally translated as “Kingdom of God“]

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as being already present but unseen;

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He depicts God as a loving father;

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He squares shoulders with outsiders

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and criticizes insiders.  

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Christ evokes not simply an apocalyptic eschatology/end-time,

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but more critically a sapiential eschatology,

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which encourages all of God’s children to repair the world  NOW.

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Not just the Parables but the Beatitudes/etc. feature the

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dramatic presentation and reversal of expectations that are characteristic of Jesus.

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Based on several important narrative parables [such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan],

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scholars decided that irony, reversal, and frustration of expectations were characteristic of Christ’s style.  

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Does a pericope/concise passage illustrate opposites or impossibilities? 

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If it does, it’s more likely to be authentic.

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One-third of the Bible consists of Parables/Pericopes/aphorisms.

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The poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore,

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as having an inherent capacity of understanding it better than anyone else.    

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/glenn-beck-vs-christ-the-_b_698359.html

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That’s pretty threatening for any comfortable Christian.

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For not only do we have to help the poor, not only do we have to advocate on their behalf, we also have to see them as understanding God better than we do!

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But that’s not a new idea:

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It goes back to Jesus.

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The poor, the sick and the outcast “got” Him better than the wealthy did.

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Perhaps because there was less standing between the poor and God.

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Less stuff [pride].

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Maybe that’s why Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “You will have treasure in heaven, and follow me.”

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See also Galatians 6:2  –  lovingly take on one another’s burden  — mutual help

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/sage-don-milam-his-powers-of-persuasion-were-honed-by-his-ability-to-see-beyond-the-ordinary-he-loved-the-story-method-of-getting-his-point-across-everyone-loves-a-good-story-and-jesus-could-tel/

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Sage Don Milam:   His powers of persuasion were honed by His ability to see beyond the ordinary. He loved the story method of getting His point across. Everyone loves a good story, and Jesus could tell a good story. He liked to end His stories with a twist that left the hearers walking away scratching their heads and thinking about them for many hours to come. The aphorisms and parables of Jesus function in a particular way: they are invitational forms of speech. Jesus used them to invite his hearers to see something they might not otherwise see. As evocative forms of speech, they tease the imagination into activity, suggest more than they say, and invite a transformation in perception. Drawing pictures from their own familiar world, He arrested their minds, captured their imaginations, and opened them ever so gently to the stirrings of the ancient language deep within them. Jesus liked to put His listeners in almost every story He told, and by the way, you and I were there as well—the least, the last, the little and the lost. These were the objects of His loving attention in those stories He told.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/in-the-case-of-christ-we-have-a-unique-form-of-persuasion-it-is-like-what-happens-when-an-error-in-our-viewpoint-is-shown-to-us-and-our-mind-reassembles-around-the-truth-that-we-have-not-seen-but-i/

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In the case of Christ we have a unique form of persuasion. It is like what happens when an error in our viewpoint is shown to us, and our mind reassembles around the truth that we have not seen. But it is unlike this process in that the truth that takes us over is not a correct proposition but a person. (Sebastian Moore)   — sage Don Milam

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/jesus-violated-every-conceivable-tradition-when-it-came-to-his-associations-with-the-marginalized-of-jewish-society-he-infuriated-the-pharisees-with-every-compassionate-touch-the-qumran-community-of/

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Jesus violated every conceivable tradition when it came to His associations with the marginalized of Jewish society. He infuriated the Pharisees with every compassionate touch. The Qumran community of the Essenes had an unconditional law: “No madman, or lunatic, or simpleton, or fool, no blind man, or maimed, or lame, or deaf man, and no minor shall enter the community. “Jesus came to shatter these man-made laws with the vengeance of Heaven. It was these very rejected ones whom He had come to save. To the Pharisees He declared, ‘But go and learn what this means, “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,” for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ The Pharisees surrounded themselves with the rich, the wise, the educated, and the elite of society. Jesus, conversely, surrounded Himself with the poor, the uneducated, the rejected, and the outcasts of society.”   — sage Don Milam

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhema#Modern_usage 

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Rhema is the revealed word of God (revelation received from the Holy Spirit) when the Word/Logos is read, as an

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application/utterance/”unction”/anointment from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit, as in John 14:26    

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Again, application of Scripture to this world.

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“… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In this usage Rhema refers to “a word that is spoken,” when the Holy Spirit delivers a message to the heart as in Romans 10:17:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (rhematos Christou)”

and in the Matthew 4:4:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God”.

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Remarkable that one’s experiences span a century or more, if one is lucky enough to live into old age.       My uncle Masaaki 1903-1970 was 50 years older than me.    My grandson Silas is 50 years younger than me.    Uncle Masaaki is a century older than Silas.     My life experiences span a century between Uncle Masaaki and my grandson Silas.    Gatz!    Defy Father Time??

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Of course, one can stretch even longer life’s time span   –   my grandma [Uncle Masaaki’s & my dad’s mama] Tome was 70 years older than me.     I’m just short of age 60, so my lifeblood youngest progeny is my youngest grandchild, my granddaughter Maya, who is 59 years younger than me.     Not equidistant, but 130 years separate my grandma Tome from my granddaughter Maya.     

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Actor William Demarest 1892-1983 was 60 years older than me, thus meeting the equidistance measure, with my granddaughter Maya being 60 years younger than me — the total span being 120 years from William Demarest [or my uncle Bill Cappy Chun, also born in Demarest’s time] to my granddaughter Maya.      Here is prolific vaudeville/longtime character actor Demarest  –

William Demarest Picture

William Demarest(1892–1983)


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons, replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography…See full bio »

Died:

December 28,     1983         (age 91) in        Palm Springs, California, USA

Still of Humphrey Bogart and William Demarest in All Through the NightStill of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and William Demarest in All Through the Night
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Of course, this year’s 60th year Diamond Jubilee with majestic Queen Elizabeth had the most amazing aerial displays    –
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but let’s also  remember lusty [yes, con todo mi alma y corazon] Victoria‘s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 [my grandparents were hormonal teens bent on pioneering East to the Hawaiian islands of silk & honey][Victoria is current Queen Elizabeth’s great great grandmother][our greatest modern Hawaiian statesperson Pi’ehu Iaukea 1855-1940 pilgrimaged to England for this tremendous occasion — Pi’ehu was preceded in great diplomacy & leadership by Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli 1813-1854]

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Thence, my immigrant grandparents’ odyssey East transcended both Victoria’s & current Queen Elizabeth’s reigns –   my ojisans/obasans [tutus] experienced both divine queens in all their soulful reigns   – 115 years  [Victoria in 1897 & Elizabeth’s 2012 jubilee] spanning 3 centuries [1800s to 2000s]!!!    Wow!!

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I was 20 when my daughter was born, 40 when my oldest grandchild/mo’opuna kane was born, 50 when my middle grandson was born [among 5 grandchildren, 3 boys, 2 girls], and nearly 60 when my youngest grandchild/mo’opuna wahine was born.    

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My parents whom I worship and miss dearly were 40 years older than me.    My mature parents were tutus/grandparents to me in age chronology, & I am blessed by their mature wisdom/magnanimity & composure/equanimity.  

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My parents died 15 years ago 4 months apart [coincidence  — Mom died of a stroke/Dad died 4 months later from cancer].

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I felt like a grandchild blessed with the most loving & supportive tutus/grandparents in the world, though when I was a barefoot plantation toddler here in Wainaku [Ha’aheo Elem. School atop Kamehameha the Great’s most beautiful pu’u/hilltop]  — I felt terribly embarassed that my parents were fuddy-duddy oldsters vs. my village kid peers’ parents, and that my mom worked, so that I never came home to a homemaker mom who had cookies laid out for me on the kitchen table in our old plantation mill camp.    

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When my parents died 15 years ago, I suddenly crossed over to be a tutu/grandparent to my burgeoning mo’opuna/grandkids.     My grandparents 70 years older than me had died by the time I was born.

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I don’t remember being a child [in a most blessed sense], but undeniably I was blessed/gifted [of the spirits?  Cor./Romans/Ephesians/Peter/etc.] as a grandchild would be, with my dearest parents who were like grandparents to me in wisdom/countenance.    

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Nor do I remember being a parent [my daughter who is approaching middle age at 40  — laughingly tells me that I was a lousy party animal parent but above all else  — I loved my daughter more than anything/anyone in the whole wide world  — and this is the only thing which counted for my daughter, which is/means everything to her & to me!!].    

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But now here I am as a grandparent [by default  — ha ha  ha — still a party animal], and wow, time flies, baby! !!

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And now I am by default/pied piper via hedonism/elan tutu again to 2 dearest “hanai”/emotional attachment — mo’opuna  — Colton age 27 & Jill age 22, grandkids to me in age chronology!   I ask Colton how may I be of service to him/Jill, & Colton shoots back, “Don’t!   Just be you!”    Gatz!   Who am I????   [ha ha    ;-)    ]   

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Foggy bottom, baby   — is my head — spinning like a top???!!    Ha ha!   Dig my hero George Harrison’s video   –   [40 years from age 20 to 60 for me  — go by in the blink of an eye!!][Maui resident Harrison died of cancer at age 58 after 9/11 & a year after this You Tube video was produced] 

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Yes, I hope to make it to age 80 & still feel like a passionate teenager in love!!   Ha ha ha!!        Enjoy [the treats below], baby!!!

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Age is a   figment of our imagination    — our core being is   ageless!       –

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See especially timeclock 4:19 to 5:05 of youtube below about Harrison’s opinion on aging as soulfully deepest youth enjoyed  –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVnKjv4fK0&feature=related

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/great-rocker-girish-pradhan/

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Music is my whole life, and I dedicate these happy links to my Dad Toshi 1913-1998, who was born to sing & play his ubiquitous Martin ‘ukulele, and who sang & played in the mango tree astride my grandparents’ Wainaku mill camp home as a young boy.     Dad’s mom Tome 1881-1954 sang & picked at her samisen Japanese fiddle/string board.   Dad got his music from his mom Tome.  Dad/I are baritones, my baby brother Lloyd & Dad’s youngest sibling Charley are fine tenors.   My Mom  (maiden name Hanato of Kona) never sang.   I think our musical DNA is from my Dad’s side of the family.    My Mom was a good athlete [basketball capt. soph. yr. 1932 Hawai’i Island prep titlist — Mom spawned all the Kona Hanato girl hoopsters you see today, incl. coach Awa, though imperious Awa has no clue about Mom’s hoopster genesis behind Awa].    Dad was a great athlete, as is my baby brother [State prep baseball all-star].

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Even into Dad’s final years, Dad would sing among our backyard pals, Dad’s Martin ‘ukulele always in his arms. My daughter Staycie age 40 is half Hawaiian, & my dearest little baby girl Staycie has instilled in her children the spirit of the islands — aloha — welcome/accomodation/tenderness/humbleness/kindness/generosity — her children  Maya age 2/Emily age 6/Silas & Ashley both age 11/Shay age 21. Beautiful aloha. My mo’opuna keiki all.

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Hana hou!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D-SgA_NJwk

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f29uA3gwhbc

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As a child just after Statehood 54 yrs. ago, I was enthralled by the theme song to CBS local affiliate’s Saturday Island matinee playhouse.   I still have not pinned down its title, but I remember it sounding a little like Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade.   Music aficionados “in the know” are long dead & gone [the great George Camarillo/Gloriana Adap/etc.], so I’ll have to sleuth a little more to find out the melodic magic of half a century ago.   Nonetheless, I present to you favorites of mine over the years.   Enjoy    ;-)

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Beautiful Pachelbel’s Canon, lost to history for centuries

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Af372EQLck

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Of course, Mozart is the greatest solace/emotional therapist  –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi8vJ_lMxQI

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from https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/susanne-mentzer-the-mozart-effect-beautiful/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/ambivalence-killed-jesus-the-people-waved-palm-branches-on-sunday-singing-hosanna-hey-come-friday-they-shouted-to-free-barabbas-same-crowd-when-you-stand-too-close-to-beautiful/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/acknowledging-ambivalence-is-best-way-to-cope-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/i-will-die-a-good-death/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/does-your-life-have-purpose/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/randy-pausch-steven-kalas-living-meaningfully/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/harriet-beecher-stowes-prophetic-engine-sage-joan-d-hedrick/

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