Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Human Heart

Into the Deep
collage by Rosa Phoenix

The tragedy in Japan brings worry, despair, a sense of uncertainty and powerlessness. 

A reminder of how close we are to death, at every moment.

At the same time, it shows us how all people, and all life, are inter-connected.

I didn't learn about the earthquake and tsunami from the TV or Internet news. A woman I met only once sent me a text message, asking if I have family or friends in Japan. Her text message read: "we are all related as a human family."

I was touched that this woman, who I barely know, reached out to show her concern and caring.

I have friends in Japan. They are safe and alive, and for that I am thankful.

How much can change in an instant. 

Tragedies like this can make us feel closer than ever. The truth is that we need each other. In suffering, in times of difficulty, we bond and grow closer. Our ties grow stronger. We reach out for help and comfort one another.

Here is something my father wrote, after an earthquake in Taiwan in 1999:

With the reminiscence of all the disastrous events, natural or otherwise, that happened in the world in the past and present, I cannot help but think that even as advanced as the science and technology of today, we are still very vulnerable to all kinds of destructions.
On the other hand, we, the humans, have survived all those disastrous events for millions of years without any knowledge of modern science and technology. Why? Because we are the humans and have the HEART OF HUMANS.
From this very humans' heart, mutual assistance, sympathy and sacrifice for others were generated and converted into insurmountable forces and energy that kept humans surviving throughout all kinds of catastrophes.
I therefore come to the conclusion that we, the humans, have been and will be suffering from, but will not be destroyed by any extraneous forces.
However, we can destroy ourselves once this very existing humans' heart is lost.

- Dr. John T.K. Wang

The power of the heart, of our compassion and desire to help others, is our greatest strength. I hope that we will keep developing this power. 

Reach out in love, make the bonds stronger and the world smaller. Nothing else matters.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

South Mountain Petroglyphs

Dobbins Lookout view from South Mountain
all photos by Rosa Phoenix

Here are some views from South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona.  

South Mountain is a nice place to hike, bike, drive, or ride a horse.

Here you can see the desert landscape and views of the city of Phoenix.

Recently I hiked the Holbert Trail, which features many ancient petroglyphs, made by the Hohokam people.

 rock art

The Hohokam people settled and farmed this area in ancient times.

According to local oral tradition, the Hohokam may be the ancestors of the historic Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'odham peoples in Southern Arizona. (Wikipedia)
The city of Phoenix was named to acknowledge these original settlers, because a new civilization rises from the ruins of the ancient civilization.

rock art

Is that a whale or fish on the rock below the spiraling snake?

To me it looks like a whale.

Where would these desert dwelling people have seen such a creature?

Maybe someone had traveled from the California coast.

This desert was once an ancient sea . . . how things change!

 another human figure
or maybe a bird?

 the four directions
the cross

the Saguaro cactus,
native to the Sonoran desert

All photos were taken on my iPhone using the Camera+ app.