July 2011

Dear Friends,

I have met many people in different countries over the last month. I have enjoyed their cultures, their different attitudes to life and their ways of making a living. I have listened, learned, enjoyed and loved my movements. Immersing myself in other cultures has been a diversion for many years now. I cannot imagine ever to tire from it. Is there anything more interesting than people? Who or what could inspire us more? Would art do it? It is certainly a challenge to try and understand someone else’s art as an expression of life. Life itself however, in people and nature, is a constant revelation to us. It is at times quite bewildering. This type of test, when finding oneself in the middle of other traditions, is precisely what helps us to rethink our own life and lifestyle.

People are always on the move. Even when they sit or lie still something is happening in them or around them. Movement is life and life is certainly movement. Life is fascinating. It is so vibrant. You may be able to sense it in others, like sometimes you think you know the thoughts in their heads. The colours, the people, the shades and hues of what I have seen, heard, done and shared are like a kaleidoscope, a stream of life or a river of colours to me. When we interact with others we also connect with their energy field and their fascination with life. Our lives therefore become richer when interacting with others. Our free will only can determine how much we give to and take from others.

We all have our likes and dislikes. What a challenge when we find lovely people in the most unlikely places for that to occur! We may think that we don’t like a particular place or its people. Then, suddenly, we find beautiful people right there. I thank the universe for these meetings “by chance” where I have to change my attitude instantaneously. Becoming less judgemental in a given situation is excellent if it happens intuitively rather than via a complex brain exercise and the faster the better. It is like seeing a beautiful flower in the middle of an arid stony desert and you know its beauty there and then. These are the places where we understand life in its central part. Straight away we know that we belong there, too. Beauty shows itself in people, in nature and quite obviously in us. Such moments are rewarding and help us to understand the meaning of life and of us in it. We can integrate our being once more, making it whole all over again. We cherish this coherence within ourselves as it makes us feel good and in one piece rather than in spare parts like when we are feeling scattered and uncomfortable with our thoughts and actions. I am sure you know the feeling of being dispersed and then being whole again. It is like that emotion when you know that you have overcome a disease and are healthy once more.

We learn about the beauty of life and happiness in so many different ways!

As a story, I have chosen the following article from a newspaper online. It shows you that it is never too late to learn how to make yourself happy yet again:

Britain’s oldest ballet dancer – aged 90

John Lowe, a 90 year-old war veteran, will become Britain’s oldest ballet dancer tonight when he pirouettes onto stage.

John Lowe: The grandfather of 11, who fought in Malaysia and India in the Second World War before being captured by the Japanese, said he loved performing on stage

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Mr Lowe only took up ballet at the age of 79, but has landed a starring role to celebrate his remarkable life in Strauss’s An Artist’s Life.

The retired soldier, art teacher and theatre director will join dancers more than half his age to perform a routine at Ely Cathedral, in Ely, Cambs.

Mr Lowe, who will perform with the Lantern Dance Theatre Company, only got his first starring role two years ago aged 88.

The grandfather of 11, who fought in Malaysia and India in the Second World War before being captured by the Japanese, said he loved performing on stage.

He said: ”Dancing is the most amazing feeling and you come home mentally uplifted after listening to all this brilliant music.

”It’s fantastic exercise too and I remember being in the prisoner of war camp starving and doing hard labour and thinking I might not make it.

”But look at me now. I love dance and it’s going to be a magnificent day at a magnificent venue.
”You have to be incredibly fit and I see these people crawling around, hunched over smoking a cigarette. They should be doing ballet.”

To maintain his fitness, Mr Lowe has even installed a trapeze on his living room ceiling and hangs from it each morning to increase his muscle power.

He also practices three times a week in Ely’s Chequer Studio, as well as perfecting his pirouettes and pliés each day at his home in Witchford, near Ely.

His home also boasts a ballet bar where he hones his knee-bends and arm movements so he can prime his body for the demands of dancing.

The photo for today is one that shows how we meet people in unlikely places:

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In love and light and sharing
Mariana