Mahlou Musings

short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dear Mahlou Musings Blog Readers:

Recently, my life has become quite overwhelming with new responsibilities at work and a number of activities at home along with an increasing desire to finish writing my next book, Raising God's Rainbow Makers, which, I guess, means that I really should be working on it more seriously than I have been able to do up until now. I find that I cannot keep up with posting on a regular basis. For that reason, I will be taking a hiatus of at least several months. I do hope to occasionally post an installment of the "Rainbow" book as I finish various pieces.

Thank you all for being loyal and interactive readers. I have enjoyed getting to know you, and I will continue to pray for the well being of you, your family, and friends.

Elizabeth Mahlou

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

May the new year bring you much of what you want and more of what you need! Thanks for taking the 2012 journey with me. Looking forward to what 2013 may bring. (I actually stayed awake through the passage into 2013, the first time in more than ten years. I hope this is a good portent of things to come -- for me and for everyone else.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Away Longer

My Syrian friends gave me two weeks of rest and relaxation, much needed and much enjoyed. Now, they are on their way back to Scotland where they have acquired some work and probably won't return to Syria until and unless life calms down. Well, maybe they will visit friends and family during the less troubled moments...much prayer needed for them and all Syria.

As for me, after one day back to work and, seemingly, life going back to normal, things took a not-unexpected twist. My sister-in-law who has been suffering from Stage IV lung cancer was hospitalized and then immediately hospicized for a pulmonary embolism. My brother called and said that if I wanted to see her while she was still alive, I should come back home immediately, which is what I am doing. That is easier said than done. I come from rural Maine farm country where there is no public transportation, so the trip will be an all-day one from San Francisco to Boston by plane, followed by a bus trip to New Hampshire, where my brother can pick me up in his car and take me the final hour's drive home. Once a travel agent told me "you can't there from here," so since then I have been my own travel agent on trips home. I do know how to get there from here. It just takes a lot of time and a lot of conveyances.

I am hoping that I will be able to share some of her final hours with my sister-in-law and then help my brother post-funeral with whatever I can help. Being the oldest of the eight of us, I find that there is always something with which I can help and for which I am wanted.

Rural Maine is not entirely on the Internet grid yet, so please bear with me as a remain silent probably until nearly the end of October. When I am back, you all will know. There will be a post, the first in a long time!

Prayers for you all in my absence, and please pray for those in my life who need God's solace.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break from blogging for the next 2 1/2 weeks (until October 5). I have friends arriving tonight from faraway Syria, and I really need to be able to spend undiluted time with them. They will not be here for long. So, while I regret not being able to post the Monday Morning Meditation (the other posts are of lesser importance), I know that you will be able to scroll down to the last MMM and click on Fr. Austin's link and have a nice cup of Monday morning coffee and reflection with him.

And I wish to all of you who stop by in the interim a blessed day, week, month. Thank you for dropping in and being a part of my life.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Book Especially for Widows

I have no idea how many widows, especially recent widows, are among the readers of this blog, but just in case there are a few I thought I would share information about a recently released book that can be of help to recently widowed women. The title is Widow: Surviving the First Year. It was written by Dr. Joanna Romer, an English professor and journalist who was widowed a couple of years ago and so has first-hand experience of that about which she writes. (Donnie, by the way, did the cover photography and design.) For those interested in the content, here is information about the topics covered in the book:
This book takes new widows on a journey from the first difficult days of widowhood through 12 months of self-discovery. Along the way, you will learn how to handle emotional challenges such as suddenly being alone; how to tackle painful tasks including cleaning out hubby's closet; and how to re-enter the world again in terms of work, personal development and socializing. Guidelines are provided for each new phase, making this book a practical self-help book you can use for re-creating your life.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Quickie: Publisher Looking for Spiritual Writers

Truly just a quickie. For anyone with a well-written manuscript, MSI Press is looking for writers of spiritual books to expand its spiritual line. The orientation is primarily Catholic, mystical or  Franciscan bent, and good writing is really a prerequisite; most MSI Press, if you check at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, are 5-star (or at least 4.5-star) books. The press is a small, traditional press with close relationships with its authors and provides much personal help and "education" to new authors, including a monthly newsletter that provides updated information on what the press is doing to market books and how authors can help those efforts and become better known, but it accepts fewer than 10% of manuscripts submitted. Still, you have lost nothing more than some time to submit a query by email. You can submit the query to The press website has a form that can be used, but it is not necessary. If you have access to Writer's Market, there is a little more information there.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Desert Island

Here is a parable shared with me by a friend from the traditions of the Talmud, a Christian monk, and Buddhism -- ironic that all come together at some point. The version below is a Talmud story.
A very wealthy man, who was of a kind, benevolent disposition, desired to make his slave happy. He gave him, therefore, his freedom, and presented him with a shipload of merchandise.
"Go," said he, "sail to different countries, dispose of these goods, and that which thou mayest receive for them shall be thy own."
The slave sailed away upon the broad ocean, but before he had been long upon his voyage a storm overtook him; his ship was driven on a rock and went to pieces; all on board were lost, all save this slave, who swam to an island shore near by. Sad, despondent, with naught in the world, he traversed this island, until he approached a large and beautiful city; and many people approached him joyously, shouting, "Welcome! welcome! Long live the king!" They brought a rich carriage, and placing him therein, escorted him to a magnificent palace, where many servants gathered about him, clothing him in royal garments, addressing him as their sovereign, and expressing their obedience to his will.
The slave was amazed and dazzled, believing that he was dreaming, and all that he saw, heard, and experienced was mere passing fantasy. Becoming convinced of the reality of his condition, he said to some men about him for whom he experienced a friendly feeling
"How is this? I cannot understand it. That you should thus elevate and honour a man whom you know not, a poor, naked wanderer, whom you have never seen before, making him your ruler, causes me more wonder than I can readily express."

"Sire," they replied, "this island is inhabited by spirits. Long since they prayed to God to send them yearly a son of man to reign over them, and He has answered their prayers. Yearly he sends them a son of man, whom they receive with honour and elevate to the throne; but his dignity and power ends with the year. With its close his royal garments are taken from him, he is placed on board a ship and carried to a vast and desolate island, where, unless he has previously been wise and prepared for this day, he will find neither friend nor subject, and be obliged to pass a weary, lonely, miserable life. Then a new king is selected here, and so year follows year. The kings who preceded thee were careless and indifferent, enjoying their power to the full, and thinking not of the day when it should end. Be wiser thou; let our words find rest within thy heart."

The newly-made king listened attentively to all this, and felt grieved that he should have lost even the time he had already missed for making preparations for his loss of power. He addressed the wise man who had spoken, saying, "Advise me, oh, spirit of wisdom, how I may prepare for the days which will come upon me in the future."

"Naked thou earnest to us and naked thou wilt be sent to the desolate island of which I have told thee," replied the other. "At present thou art king, and may do as pleaseth thee; therefore send workmen to this island; let them build houses, till the ground, and beautify the surroundings. The barren soil will be changed into fruitful fields, people will journey there to live, and thou wilt have established a new kingdom for thyself, with subjects to welcome thee in gladness when thou shalt have lost thy power here. The year is short, the work is long; therefore be earnest and energetic."

The king followed this advice. He sent workmen and materials to the desolate island, and before the close of his temporary power it had become a blooming, pleasant, and attractive spot. The rulers who had preceded him had anticipated the day of their power's close with dread, or smothered all thought of it in revelry; but he looked forward to it as a day of joy, when he should enter upon a career of permanent peace and happiness.
The day came; the freed slave, who had been made king, was deprived of his authority; with his power he lost his royal garments; naked he was placed upon a ship, and its sails set for the desolate isle.

When he approached its shores, however, the people whom he had sent there came to meet him with music, song, and great joy. They made him a prince among then, and he lived with them ever after in pleasantness and peace.

The wealthy man of kindly disposition is God, and the slave to whom He gave freedom is the soul which He, gives to man. The island at which the slave arrives is the world; naked and weeping he appears to his parents, who are the inhabitants that greet him warmly and make him their king. The friends who tell him of the ways of the country are his "good inclinations." The year of his reign is his span of life, and the desolate island is the future world, which he must beautify by good deeds, "the workmen and material," or else live lonely and desolate for ever.

About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.