IFAW Video Highlights 2014 Successes in Animal Welfare & Rescue

I just received this video in my email. It shows the many successes of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) around the world over the last year. Kudos to the many who work tirelessly to help the animals and to those who support this group! Please continue to support their good works.

 

 

 

T is for Tree

T

On Life & Love

In Life,

I am a young oak. Live Oak tree

My roots firmly intact, I’m grounded.

I stand tall, strong and proud.

Forever surging upward, mighty maturity evolving.

I weather the harsh elements and massive storms.

Undaunted, I reach higher and higher.

In Love,

I transform into a tumbleweed.

Defenseless against the slightest wind,

I crumble to dust.    Tumbleweed and shadow

©Michele Truhlik

Ironically, while I was posting my poem, I came across a recent video news story on tumbleweed invasions. If these tumbleweeds are anything like me, there sure are a lot of them running from love:

Mother Nature Network's news story: Tumbleweeds menace the west

Mother Nature Network’s March 17 2014 story on menacing tumbleweeds

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

I is for Illusion

All is Vanity image by Charles Allen Gilbert

Charles Allen Gilbert completed the classic black & white optical illusion in 1892. It can be seen as a pretty girl admiring her reflection in a mirror, or as an ominous skull in the background. The tableau is exquisite and the message is clear.

Illusion: the image created by imagination and having no objective reality. Things look different than they really are. Illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality, a false impression.

Do you get caught up in the constant drive to achieve some ideal and seemingly unattainable version of yourself and your life? I do. Or I should say I used to. I don’t so much anymore because after 50 years it’s finally sinking in that so much of what I see is illusion.

I see model-thin women, making self-deluding statements with their latest must-have fashions, and for years I’ve been insanely jealous but now I know that what lies beneath the veneer of confident smiles is a woman who is just as unsatisfied with her body as I am with mine.

Every day I see façades of happy couples but I know that behind the façade is a pair of individuals who are essentially miserable being married.

I see those who have so much money they couldn’t possibly spend it all in a lifetime, yet they hold on to it so tightly as if that money defines their identity and is inextricably tied to their core being. I can’t help but yearn to have that kind of money and I tell myself, with me, it would be different; I wouldn’t fall victim to its spell. But is that the truth?

I look to all the mansions and expansive homes with indulgent envy but I’m pretty sure now that the people inside are just as fucked up as the rest of us.

TS Eliot said “Humankind cannot handle very much reality.” I’d say that’s probably not far from the truth. We all seem to live in a land of illusion and for the most part, we seem to be pretty okay with it…maybe because we don’t even realize it.

So, is reality overrated? What do you think? Is illusion a preferred state?

Welcome to the grand illusion
Come on in and see what’s happening
Pay the price, get your tickets for the show
The stage is set, the band starts playing
Suddenly your heart is pounding
You’re wishing secretly you were a star

But don’t be fooled by the radio
The TV or the magazines
They’ll show you photographs of how your life should be
But they’re just someone else’s fantasies
So if you think your life is complete confusion
‘Cause you never win the game
Just remember that it’s a grand illusion
And deep inside we’re all the same
We’re all the same

So if you think your life is complete confusion
Because your neighbor’s got it made
Just remember that it’s a grand illusion
And deep inside we’re all the same

America spells competition
Join us in our blind ambition
Get yourself a brand new motorcar
Someday soon we’ll stop to ponder
What on earth’s this spell we’re under
We made the grade and still we wonder
Who the hell we are

Lyrics to “The Grand Illusion” by Styx, the title track of their 1977 Grand Illusion album

I

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

B is for Birdseye View

B A startling whoosh of the magnificent hawk as it takes flight, its powerful wings flapping strong and steady, ascending, until a gentle gust pulls it up, and with wingspan fully extended it gracefully glides across the sky, scanning the landscape.

Suddenly, I’m keenly aware of dozens of birds around me: a cardinal couple engaged in a mating dance on the branches of the bare crape myrtle; a blue jay silently watching from its perch on a neighboring tree; mourning doves poking around in the grass, picking up scraps of seeds that others have cast out of the feeder; and tiny sparrows flitting in and out of the bush at the edge of the flower bed.

How often I take for granted these amazing creatures who every day put on a most awe-inspiring show of natural performance. Taking a few moments to ground myself, I take a front row seat to the spendor that lie before me. Watching. Still. Surprisingly peaceful. Fulfilled. And wondering. What would it be like to be a bird? I know I have often wondered that in times past but haven’t thought about it much lately.

What would it be like to be so free? So unencumbered, shifting direction with effortless maneuverability and graceful movement. I wonder if my world view would change if I had a birds-eye view. No mortgage to fret about, no relationships weighing heavy on my heart, no baggage from the past, no worry about tomorrow, no politics to scream about, no fear of our world’s future. Oh, how I could love being a bird!

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.”
J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird  

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

Sensational and Stunning Time-Lapse Video of Yosemite National Park!

This should absolutely be shared with everyone you know! What an incredible journey through beautiful Yosemite National Park. Two photographers, Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill, both from California, spent ten months backpacking over 200 miles in Yosemite with one goal in mind: to create this astounding 5-minute time-lapse video capturing the park in all four seasons.

The video quality is fantastic, the editing is incredible, the music score is a perfect match for what you see and it is just a fabulous way to start your Sunday! Enjoy. This is a major WOW. Spread the beauty!

Stunning Time-Lapse Video Captures Rare Views of Yosemite

national geographic yosemite national park photo