Monday, December 31, 2007

To Each and Everyone

A happy, healthy, peaceful, love-filled, sane, exciting, crazy, thoughtful, educated, prejudice-free, painless ... New Year!

Stay in motion!

Love, PP

Image by IgorLaptev

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post-Holiday Worries, Here and There

While we might be worrying about how to lose those extra pounds we gained during the holidays from indulging in too much yummie food.

Or if auntie Clara will be forever cross with us if we exchange that horrendous statue she somehow thought would fit in nicely with our living-room decor (or, more likely, she gave us because she didn´t really know what else to get us - but some Christmas present had to be bought, right?).

Or how to redeem that tie rack gift card ("Good grief, not another tie!").

In other words, while we are dealing with the basic problems of a typical consumption society, there are plenty of people around the world who would desperately wish to have that kind of post-holiday worries.

Not that they have to worry much about holidays in the first place, since day-to-day survival is their primary concern.

The following is an excerpt from the press release of the upcoming UNICEF report on the situation children in Iraq are faced with.

If there is no future for the children, how is there supposed to be a future for the country?

Little respite for Iraq’s children in 2007

But window to reach more vulnerable families opening for 2008

ERBIL/AMMAN/GENEVA, 21 December 2007: An estimated two million children in Iraq continue to face threats including poor nutrition, disease and interrupted education.

Iraqi children were frequently caught in the crossfire of conflict throughout 2007. Insecurity and displacement continues to cause hardship for many in the most insecure parts of the country and further eroded access to quality essential services country-wide. Iraq remains volatile; however conditions begin to allow for more a concerted effort to deliver assistance.

“Iraqi children are paying far too high a price,” said Roger Wright, UNICEF’s Special Representative for Iraq. “While we have been providing as much assistance as possible, a new window of opportunity is opening, which should enable us to reach the most vulnerable with expanded, consistent support. We must act now.”

Available information from different sources shows that:

  • Only 28 per cent of Iraq’s 17 year olds sat their final exams in summer, and only 40 per cent of those sitting exams achieved a passing grade (in south and central Iraq).
  • Many of 220,000 displaced children of primary school age had their education interrupted, adding to the estimated 760,000 children (17 per cent) already out of primary school in 2006.
  • Children in remote and hard-to-reach areas were frequently cut off from health outreach services.
  • Only 20 per cent outside Baghdad had working sewerage in their community, and access to safe water remains a serious issue.
  • An average 25,000 children per month were displaced by violence or intimidation, their families seeking shelter in other parts of Iraq.
  • By the end of the year, approximately 75,000 children had resorted to living in camps or temporary shelters (25 per cent of those newly-displaced since the Samarra shrine bombing in February 2006).
  • Hundreds of children lost their lives or were injured by violence and many more had their main family wage-earner kidnapped or killed.
  • Approximately 1,350 children were detained by military and police authorities, many for alleged security violations.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Out of Reach ;)

Image by DavedeHaan

Feel the storm of desire
rattling your soul

Feed the burning fire
to break away from it all.

Escape these boundaries
limiting your mind.

Smell the adventure
you´re certain to find.

Taste the promise
of freedom to roam

Freed from all chains
escape on your own!

Jump! You sense you´re finally unleashed!
How good it feels
to be out of reach!

The wind in your hair
the sun on your skin.

The peace of your mind
the freedom within.

The sweet sensation
makes you feel high

To be free like an eagle
commanding the sky

Discover and explore
limitless lands

Imprinting your footsteps
into ever new sands

Escape! You are breaking free from the leash!
How good it feels
to be out of reach!

Boundless, unbridled,
you venture, you dare

To uncover new sides
of which you´d been unaware.

Your mind, at peace,
and totally free

You open your eyes
and you finally see

The magic, the wonder,
the beauty around

And for the first time in a long while
you feel no longer bound.

No holding back! There never has been a leash!
How good it feels
to be out of reach!


Dreamcatcher by Ashalind

He roams the arcane lands of secret shadows
knowing no fears

With fierce power he seeks those ghoulish ghosts
who are out to haunt you

Unflinchingly he hunts them down and breaks their shady spell
before they can cast it on you

With fervour he protects you against the petrifying pall
which they seek to wrap around your mind

Unbeknownst to you he accepts the crucial challenge,
time and again, never tiring

Mindful of the perils, he devotes his preternatural powers
to battle the cataclysmic mares of night

Strong-willed, he searches for the hounds of horror,
catching them with his web

With resolve he fends off the ghastly gnomes
so you may walk the path of your dreams.

May the Dreamcatcher protect you against all nightmares, so you may pursue your dreams!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Whatever You Do, Have a Good One!

No matter whether you love or loathe the holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukka, Eid, Kwanza or simply life:

All the best to you and your families! May your holidays and the coming year be filled with joy and laughter, peace, bliss, health, success. And love. Lots of it.

Hopefully, you´ll find a couple of quiet days ahead where you can just sit back, relax and ponder. Remember to cherish those that you love and who are dear to you. Make them feel they´re special. Not only this time of the year, but all year round. Because they are.

And don´t give your sweetheart hell because his socks are laying around, or because (s)he always seems to take ages to get ready, and you´ll be late for your holiday lunch/dinner with your family. Or because you´re stressed out. Or for any other seeming reason which, when looked upon with some distance and through the eyes of reason, turns out to have been naught but fiddlesticks.

Take it easy, ok?

Cuddly cougar hugs!

P.S.: The graphic, as so often, is from Deviantart, by platinum420.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Nonsense Narrations

Image by justaloser

Safely shell shocked,
searching shadowy spoofs
she supplies them soft subtleties

Laying low
lest luddites lurk
lamenting their lacrimonious lullabies.

Creatures of chaos
carry conventional carnations,
chasing controversies

While withered weather witches
wickedly wail,
wallowing in wild willows.

Dapper dames drinking daiquiries
dance dreamily,
dressed in diaphanous dungarees.

Aspiring adequate alacrity,
alabaster aardvarks
argue adversities from above.

Linguistic licorice
lingers lasciviously
over longing lovers.

But quintessential quagmires
quickly query
quaint questions in quadrophenia.

Tormented through trite trivia
thriving torrents of talk
tacidly tackle her.

She smells sedation
searching shadowy shelters
of sweet silence.