Sunday, December 21, 2014

El Santuario de Chamayo and Christmas Miracles

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Chamayo, New Mexico, stands the El Santuario de Chimayo Catholic Church.  Built in 1816, it is one of New Mexico's treasures.

Built of adobe with a bell tower on each side, the chapel is 60 feet long and 24 feet wide, with walls more than three feet thick. You enter through the  adobe courtyard, after first walking up a gravel path with cotton wood trees on the right side and a wire fence on the left.  On the fence are twisted many handmade crosses and many bits of paper with humble requests, messages in spiritual bottles.

With many retablos and other folk art lining the walls on both sides of the chapel, it is a mini art museum of Mexican art glorifying God and the many saints that are part of the Catholic religion.

The church is a glimpse of the past, but the main attraction for many is the "miracle dirt."  Clay has been known through the centuries for its healing powers, and in a small side room off the pacito, or a pit containing "miracle dirt."  Yes, they do replenish the dirt from the nearby hills and one can purchase a small container or use your own to scoop up a bit of "miracle dirt" to take home.  The dirt is believed to be blessed and is used to rub on troubled parts of ones body.  In an adjacent room are crutches and testimonials of those who ascribe  their healing to the miracle dirt.  There is a legend concerning the miracles of its origin.

The power of belief is strong and walking through the church there is a sense of peace and tranquility.

May you have a peaceful and healthy 2015 and perhaps experience a miracle or two of your own.  And a special wish for peace for my Ukrainian friends.

Charles Sargent. photographer

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sainsbury Official Xmas Ad, 2014

Be prepared to shed a few quiet tears.  This puts things in the right perspective for me.  Thank you to my good friend for emailing this to me.  I don't know if I could have found it on my own.

If only. . . .

The You tube connection has links to the making of this video and they are also worthwhile.

May there be Peace on Earth, but sometimes it is so difficult.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Drugs, the good, the bad and the ugly

Having had a knee replacement 28 days ago, I have had several "A ha"moments since.  I am two people, one who is doing well for the the surgery part, am now at a 120 degree bend, so that is very good.  And the other part, being in drug withdrawal from Tramadol.  I am one of those people who are extremely sensitive to any and all drugs, cannot tolerate any drugs, vertigo, etc. etc.  So, this has made my recovery harder.

Tramadol is horrible for me although it was the only drug I could use at the beginning for pain control.  It is not supposed to be an opiate but they really don't know how it works.

So now it is the problem of the withdrawal which is not fun as you are trying to take less and less and you have to be careful to take it with food.  Vertigo, crying jags, pain, etc.  

But for the aha moment.  I know how important drugs are and how life-saving they can be.  Years ago, I had TB and two new drugs had come on the market, INH and PAS and because I could take them, I was negative within a month, but unfortunately had to have surgery later and still had to spend a year in a sanitarium as the protocol was both old and new.

Think of the anti-malarial drugs and so many others that have saved lives.  But there is a down-side and you have to be careful. I also think about those who have cancer and have to endure the chemotherapy which is so very, very difficult.

So, I am not complaining, but learning every day and many of us are having knee replacements these days, just click on TKR on your IPhone and you will see a great deal of information from everywhere, some is helpful.

The I Phone is a godsend for me.  During the night when things are not going well, there is the You Tube and wonderful music.  I am an opera fan and have been listening to Anna Netrebko and others and the music helps.  But whatever your preference, music is there and it does "soothe the savage beast," in this case, my nemesis, Tramadol.

I am trying to treasure the small moments and know that I will get better eventually.  Reading my favorite blogs also helps, and watching Doc Martin.