What’s the Point?

The Point by Harry Nilsson (courtesy Youtube.com)

How many of you remember this absolutely delightful and magical story from the early 70’s? I loved it since the beginning and have listened to it over and over and over again. What might it be that makes it so appealing? Well, that would be aside from so many delightful aspects of the story of a little boy, Oblio, born with a round head when everyone else in his village had pointed heads. Can you imagine such a dreadful thing?

Although his mom and dad loved him very much, they felt sorry for him, so his mom made him a cap with a point in it so that he too could have a point and be accepted by the other villagers. He did have a wonderful little dog though, and his dog’s name was Arrow. Now, like most dogs (and other creatures), Arrow was His Owner’s best friend, and they played all the time happily together. Arrow did not care if Oblio had a point or not.

Oblio and Arrow are best friends for life.


As you can imagine, eventually trouble follows the one little guy who is different from all the other folks, because he has no point. And so of course, an evil Count comes to dislike Oblio because Oblio won a game of Triangles that was only meant for those with points, and the Count’s son just happened to be one of those. Don’t you just feel the chill of what is about to happen?

That’s right – Oblio and Arrow are banished by the Evil Count because, well just because, to the Pointless Forest, the dreaded place where no Point person had ever gone. But sturdy little boy that Oblio is, he and Arrow set off on a journey with a good amount of bravery, or perhaps some kind of adventure to the Pointless Forest. Along the way he meets many characters in the Pointless forest, and one of them is Rockman, who gives him a good life lesson.

Oblio meets The Rockman

Well, there you have it. Oblio and Arrow have a long and exciting adventure with lots of amazing creatures and things in the Pointless Forest, none who have points. He returns to his village and is happily greeted by all the people with points, or so it seems. And he tells all the people with points how everything in the Pointless Forest DID have a point. They all cheer because somehow they all knew that even though they could not see it, that it did exist. Oblio had a point all along! Well, I have to save the rest of this wonderful story for you if you don’t already know it, and so I will leave you with this thought. Even if you have no verifiable proof that something exists does not mean that it doesn’t. Arrow always just knew this.

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Wild and Endangered . . .

Orphaned baby burro being cared for at Donkeyland.

I love wild burros or donkeys. They are beautiful creatures, and very personable. They show feelings for their family members, gathering around a newborn baby burro and putting their heads up in the air to bray. Once when we drove through Reche Canyon in Southern California (about 35 minutes away from where we live), we stopped off the main road through there so that I could see the burros better. As soon as we were stopped, a family of a father, mother and two babies came up to the car on my side. The mother pushed the babies, one at a time, over to the window and allowed me to pet each of them and then she and the father turned the children and they began to walk slowly away.

Bob Barker, 95 years old, founder of Donkeyland Rehab and Rescue Center

We were glad to learn that Bob Barker, who is a genuine animal lover and who has provided rescue for many creatures, started Donkeyland. Before this, the donkeys, wandering wild through the canyon, had no fencing between them and the road through, and frequently got hit, breaking their legs or worse, and often resulting in their needing to be put down.

Injured donkeys Bambi and Gabriel, Soulmates arriving at Donkeyland for rehab.

We can truly be happy that someone is caring about these creatures and making sure they are going to be safe. The rehab and rescue center is bring more of the wild burros regular, either injured or those who get rounded up to make sure they don’t get wounded.

Donkey getting ready to enjoy his fresh water trough.
A good bunch of rescued burros.
How can you not love this creature?

If you like the wild burros and would like to help, you can go on Donkeyland.org and see more photos, as well as to contribute in some small way. Thank you kindly.

Spirit Calling Me

Collaged quilt by Anne

All of my quilts come from a spiritual place or from something that tickles my funny bone. They come from things I think about and work out in a symbolic way for my own self.

I was thinking about trees in a spiritual way, and I suddenly experienced an epiphany. I realized that not everything needs to be seen to be understood, or to have faith that it exists somewhere. I cannot see any of the great Gods of the world, except as man himself has presented them, and I have no way in reality if any of those things are actually those Gods or not. I guess that would be a belief that Gods are those representations of Gods that existed in their times and places in the universe. But the reality is that if I am accepting any of them appearing as man presents them, then I am believing and trusting man and not the Gods themselves. But if I feel in my heart and soul that there are Gods, have always been Gods, and that I, and everything that exists in this world is sacred, and that we too are aspects of God, then that is faith.

And so this tree in the piece has places where you cannot see the branches, but it has places where you can see the branches. Is this tree then a belief, or is it perhaps faith?

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Courtesy Pixels
Oh what a beautiful day.
I've got a wonderful feelin'
Everything's goin' my way . . .

I was thinking that sometimes we think a day is beautiful when things are going the way we would like them to happen.

But what about all the other days? Do you realize how many miracles occur in this world, in every part of the world, despite the political systems, the religious beliefs, the cultural makeup of those who inhabit any given location? Yes, miracles happen if you but open your eyes to them.

Life then, depends on what you want to see of it. You can choose to see the negative side of everything, or you can look for the miracles, and they may not all be earth-shattering. Sometimes you need to open your mind to new possibilities of what constitutes a miracle, but I can assure you that miracles do happen every single day, every month, every week, every day, every minute and every second. Just the fact that the world keeps spinning and all the other planets and stars and the sun and the moon stay where they are is a major miracle.

In Prayer We Ask . . .

Photo by Anne

Many years ago I came across a book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner. In it was a prayer by contemporary theologian, Jack Riemer, Likrat Shabbat. The prayer was one of the most memorable I have ever read, and I made a copy of it and have carried it in my wallet ever since. I periodically pull it out and reread it every now and then when I forget its message.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end war;
For we know that you have made the world in a way
That man must find his own path to peace
Within himself and his neighbor.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;
For You have already given us the resources
With which to feed the entire world
If we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God,
To root out prejudice,
For You have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all men
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair,
For You have already given us the power
To clear away slums and to give hope
If we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease,
For You have already given us great minds with which
To search out cures and healing,
If we would only use them constructively.
For strength, determination, and willpower,
To do instead of just to pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.


Life is not always as it appears

Rare, four-footed goldfish

Things are not always what they seem in life. There is an old scene in the animated film, “The Point” by Nilsson, released in 1971 where the little boy, Oblio, is vanquished into the “Pointless Forest” by the evil prince. On his journey through the forest, he encounters Rock Man, who gives him a lesson in wisdom. “You see what you want to see, and hear what you want to hear.”

How many times is this true in all of our lives? What do we really know of our world or our universe except what our minds choose to believe or our eyes choose to see?

I have been thinking about creatures of this earth, and recently a conversation came up about the lowly slug. Everyone hated them, and most of the people were afraid of them. Yet, if you think about slugs, they have no means of self-defense. They DO have a bit of a shell inside, but they are easily stepped on and destroyed even with that. They do leave a slime path wherever they go that is created by the water they drink and which mixes with their bodily fluids, to be exuded along the way. They do have eyes located at the ends of their antennae. They sometimes come to a home and will get inside, even though there is nothing visible drawing them inside. And other than their little slimy paths, they do no damage or harm anyone.

I had never considered how sacred everything is in our universe until I searched on the symbolic significance of slugs. I will leave it for any of you who wish to pursue this further to find it on your own, but I will say that after I read it, I thought of how many things in this world I have feared or disliked simply because I never thought of them as being important or sacred in this world. Everything in this world, every person, every creature, every plant, and every grain of sand has meaning in this universe. We are not here by accident; we are the result of an amazing design – a phenomena that has occurred with incredible complexity of evolution.

All is not always as it seems. The tiniest particle in our world may be a chain in our evolution. We need to look closer at those things we take for granted, or that we think we know and perhaps are afraid of and/or dislike. There is always something new to learn and it is good to question ourselves when we encounter something we don’t understand in this world. Maybe, just maybe we have it wrong.

Ladybug

We cannot have too many wonderful books and related activities for the children ever! This is perfect for this time of year!

Vicky's Rowdy Book House

Yoo – Hoo Lady Bug by Laura Ljungkvist

One of the best interaction books for young children is “Yoo-Hoo Lady Bug.” With this book I recommend scanning the lady bug pictures and showing the pictures as you read on a Projector screen.  This way the whole class can look for the lady bug as you read. Make sure you have the students to shout, (Yoo-Hoo Ladybug! Where are you?) before showing each picture.

Five
little ladybugs are sitting on my finger

By
Vicky Manning

The first
little ladybug red and sassy

Flew off
my finger and flew to Tallahassee.

The
second little ladybug red and feeling low

Flew
off my finger and flew to Tupelo.

The
third little ladybug red and a menace

Flew
off my finger and flew to Memphis.

The
fourth little ladybug orange and mighty

Flew off my finger and flew to Hawaii.

The fifth little ladybug…

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