A very big week. August 15, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: Dr. Usui, Julia Child, Mikao Usui, National Friendship Week, Reiki, Woodstock
Today, Monday, August 15th, is a very big day for us here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. It marks two birthdays, an anniversary, and the launch of a theme week that are dear to our hearts. Of course, we’d like to share them with you, in case you feel like celebrating along with us. Let’s start with that theme week.
Today is the start of National Friendship Week. We think it’s a great time to take some time to value your friendships. During this week, we like to make lists of all our good friends, past, present, and virtual: It’s amazing how many you come up with, and what great memories they bring up. We also like to make a point of e-mailing, calling, and getting together with as many friends as possible over the week.
We also really like the idea for Friendship Week suggested by Joni Eareckson Tada: “A week to focus on friendships: God on Sunday, spouse on Monday, children on Tuesday, family on Wednesday, friends on Thursday, co-workers on Friday, and neighbors on Saturday.”
However you choose to celebrate National Friendship Week, we hope you’ll mark the occasion in your own way. Friends are one of the most precious gifts we have.
Let’s move on to those birthdays:
August 15, 1865 is the birthday of Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki. Reiki is best known as a non-invasive system of hands-on healing. It originated in Dr. Usui’s native Japan but now is practiced worldwide. But Dr. Usui intended for Reiki to be far more than a healing practice. He gave us a simple five-part formula for right living (simple to remember, anyway; much harder to actually put in practice!).
Dr. Usui called his Five Reiki Principles “the secret law to invite happiness” and “the spiritual medicine against all illness.” Read them, and you’ll see why:
Just for today:
Don’t get angry.
Words to live by! Dr. Usui suggested that you repeat them, morning and night, to help fix them in your mind. Try it; it really helps.
Today is also the birthday of Silence Dogood’s hero, Julia Child, who was born on August 15, 1912. Julia’s larger-than-life personality matched her outsized frame (she was 6’2″ at a time when the average height for women was 5’2″). She exemplified exuberance and joie de vivre. Check out these great Julia quotes and you’ll see what we mean:
“Life itself is the proper binge.”
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?”
“Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.”
“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.”
“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang.”
And finally, this piece of practical advice (with which Silence totally agrees): “Always start out with a larger pot than you think you need.”
Finally, today marks the 42nd anniversary of Woodstock. Okay, so maybe we weren’t around to see it, but we saw the documentary, and we love the Joni Mitchell song. Drugs, nudity, free love, mud, and woefully inadequate bathroom facilities aren’t exactly our idea of fun, either. But the overarching values of the “Flower Children” are: peace, beauty, tolerance, kindness, love of all life, community, wonder, art, music, openness to new experiences and new (to them) cultures and religions.
Silence still loves beads, incense, long skirts, long hair (on men and women), herbalism, Laurel’s Kitchen, and “White Rabbit.” Our friend Ben is still into exploring world religions and cultures, The Teachings of Don Juan, and Native American life, lore, and art. Our friend and fellow blog contributor Richard Saunders can be found almost exclusively clad in sandals, faded jeans, and tie-dyed tee-shirts when in informal mode. All this is the legacy of the Woodstock era. Long may it wave!
So this week, be good to your friends, try to live by your principles, celebrate life, and remember what the kids who gave us Woodstock also gave us: A reminder that our world is a beautiful, wonderful, magical place, something not to be hoarded or shut away but shared and venerated. We think Julia and Dr. Usui would approve.