I’ve chosen that double-dip name for my blog (Sophy-wisdom), first because Sophy is my Christened name, spelt like that, with a “y,” and then because all my life I’ve been straining and struggling to find wisdom.
Yesterday I woke up, turned on the radio, as usual, to hear to the news as I dressed, and was thrown into a pit of despair: the President wants to put guns into schools to prevent gun shootings; our statesmen are incapable of banning semi-automatic military weapons designed to slaughter as many people as possible in the fastest time; the truce in Syria fails; climate change, young Dreamers (DACA) without a country or home; diplomats absent or pushed aside in favor of threatened war with North Korea. . . .
It’s always been this way: arrogance, stupidity, greed, fear, violence, vengeance, loneliness– entire populations living on the brink of lost. I felt the energy sucked out of my body as I tried to remind myself that others held different points of view about guns, war, suffering – I could be wrong – my heart breaking for the children of Parkland Florida, or the shootings in Las Vegas, or Columbine, or Sandy Hook, or—or– or– because only the most dramatic shootings are reported, not the 96 living breathing people killed every day by a gun. The horror! Horror!
And then I began to pray. “ Oh God, help us, help this little world. Show us what to do.” (Write my Congressman? I don’t even HAVE one, living as I do unfranchised in the District of Columbia.) And then the doubts flew like bats beating at my brain: IS there a God? Where? Continue reading
It has been nearly a year since I posted anything, for sometimes silence in the face of all the clatter and clamor of our lives seems to be the greatest gift that anyone can give. But not long ago a letter arrived from a friend in Europe, struggling with tough times (like all of us), and what she wrote is so clear and calm that I marvel: Is this the meaning of Enlightenment? . . .
“I’ve not been feeling great today, and praying a lot. At a certain point when the kids were playing, I sat knitting in the kitchen. And it struck me that I am really missing a very important point: the divinity that is part of all of us.
The deepest mystery is right there inside us. We don’t have to search for it. We just have to listen. There is nothing to push. Just be quiet, and it’s right there. Continue reading
Last week I was in Barcelona with my daughter, my sister and her daughter. Oh, my gosh, we had so much fun. But on our second night, however, a gypsy stole my cellphone in a fashion so clever that I am still in awe. There’s a spiritual aspect to the story, but first, let me tell what happened.
It was late at night. We had gone, all four of us, to market to buy food to cook for dinner in our rented quarters. We were jet lagged and tired, having walked five or six miles that day. Outside the market a Rom or gypsy man approached, begging. He was ragged, dirty, and a little aggressive, and, startled, we hurried on. We walked two blocks back to the hotel, where we had rented the apartment, rang ourselves inside and climbed a flight of marble steps. My daughter was putting the key in the lock to our rooms when suddenly we found the man behind us —frightening, standing too close. No one had heard him climbing the stairs behind us. At the same time Continue reading
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, for recent political matters have consumed me: the election of our new President, the Women’s March last weekend, and this week the Anti-abortion March at the Washington Monument, where Vice President Pence delivered the official (new) Government position on abortions.
Recently I was talking to an Anti-abortionist, who was deeply concerned about the pain of abortion on the fetus. It’s a huge issue, and it has set me thinking at a deep spiritual level: Why is abortion done? Is it morally wrong? Is there a solution? It involves hurting and killing an unborn fetus, or if done early enough a group of cells; and no woman would do this lightly. It is horrifying, and given a choice, I think no one would do it. BUT… — and there is always a “but,” even with the spiritual —
But I am of the age when women could not get an abortion, I’m that old. I remember how a young girl would get knocked up (as we called it), and have to marry, if she was lucky – if the rooster didn’t leave her to raise a child by herself at a time when to have a bastard left a single mother alone and isolated and disdained. She could put it up for adoption. But many women died in back alleys (which was the word for illegal abortion efforts), trying to poke or pull the baby out with a coat hangar, and many women were left permanently harmed. Or dead. Why? And what of those who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or little girls, thirteen or fourteen years old, still children themselves, whose lives are changed irretrievably by unwanted pregnancy (or even unwanted sex). What is our spiritual path?
Anti-abortionists call themselves pro-life, but, struggling with the spiritual aspects of this problem, I find they care about the fetus, but not the baby, child, or adult that the fetus will grow into, so that we find Congress determined to cut food programs, schools, contraception, health care, assistance for disabled–even for vets–anything that helps a woman live or raise her child. Is that pro-life? Spirituality is always about love. How can we love more deeply? How can we express it, show it, more? Isn’t that what Christ was teaching us?
And then I think that, instead of knee-jerk opposition, I should take the Anti-abortion position seriously. They have a point!
So, here is my MODEST PROPOSAL TO END ALL ABORTIONS in the United States and ALL ATTENDANT PAIN TO THE FETUS.
- That too many babies are unwanted, resulting in abortions
- That abortions cause pain to fetuses,
- That abortions are morally and ethically wrong;
- That not enough people want to adopt less desirable or disabled babies
- That women, who are the ones getting pregnant and giving birth, have no capacity for wisdom or making sound choices concerning life, their children, or abortion;
THEREFORE, it is the responsibility of the U. S. Government to intervene in order to save the sacred life of each and every fetus, and
Every man or woman, married or single, shall be chosen by lottery (with special emphasis given to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive Branch) to take one unwanted child and rear it for its lifetime, either alone or with the assistance of a spouse, AND MOREOVER
- That Government intervention and intrusion by a Government bureaucracy in private lives is undesirable and morally wrong;
- That Government itself, being large and unwieldy, must be reduced or abolished, excepting for the military and national security;
- That health care, public schools, prisons, transportation, the environment and eco-systems, and other government functions, are best left to the private sector in unregulated capitalism;
- That dependence upon Government handouts is agreed to encourage malingering, selfishness and laziness:
The rearing of said new-born infant shall be undertaken by the lottery foster parent, (as with all children) with no government assistance, financial aid, health insurance, food stamps, or free public schools.
THUS, shall the need for abortions and all pain to unborn fetuses be eliminated while maintaining the dignity of the Individual and a smaller government.
KNOW SOMEONE WHO LOVES CATS?
LOVE, ALBA, “Indie BOOK OF THE YEAR (romance)”
“I love this book. I read it in one gulp! Burnham’s romantic tale fires the imagination…” Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
www.Amazon.com +Sophy Burnham Love, Alba
Is it tacky to promote your own books? Yes! And (sigh) here I am doing it.
A BOOK OF ANGELS
OOPS! I don’t have a photo to show, darn it! But it’s a BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Look on Amazon. Yours for about 90 cents — or for $70 (how odd)
FOR WRITERS ONLY
FALLING: LOVE-STRUCK, THE GOD POEMS
www.Amazon.com click books + sophy burnham
Here we are at Christmas/Hannakah, and look! Here is the story I promised: a whistleblower, an attempted murder, a life saved. You’ll tell me it was all imagination, and true, nothing can be proved, but the point is . . . I urge you always: follow your Intuition, that “still small Voice of God.” It may save your life. I wish I had the ability to add a photo of the cover of the book, but I don’t know how. He refers to A BOOK OF ANGELS, available on Amazon both in print and on kindle: This item:A Book of Angels: Reflections on Angels Past and Present, and True Stories of How They Touch Our L… by Sophy Burnham Paperback $11.72.
Dearest Mrs. BURNHAM!
I’ve just read your delicious and very interesting book about angels: it was splendid & marvelous because it is true! We’re all in connection with the spiritual dimension at any time & at any place: the spirits & angels are on our side, guarding us & protecting us & surrounding us! Fifteen years ago I had a life-saving experience through my personal guardian angel as I went through a very difficult, bad patch. I worked in a Dutch-Belgian firm, and I was very unhappy. I was suffering from [subject to] harassment in this modern & established workplace!
Precious tools for the production unit that I had to take care of continuously & systematically disappeared, and it seemed a bit suspicious to me, just as it did to other colleagues who–most of them–suspected me of having stolen them! We all became suspicious of one another, but I was suspect number 1, because I was the new “talent” in this firm. . . Continue reading
Don’t you love to get unexpected letters? They come to me mostly by email now, and always still spreading Hope and Love, and always with a little Mystery. And now, I give you two stories, one from Sweden and the other from Germany of long ago, for in these troubled times it is wise to remember that we are surrounded by angels. Two angels accompany you from the moment you are born, your special companions, and in times of peril they can call a cavalry of angels to your aid. The question is — Who will see them in disguise? Who will hear them when they speak? Here is the first story:
Dear Sophy Burnham,
Being a refuge war baby in Germany, I know of angels from very early on. At age 4 or 5, I fell out of my crib. My left arm swelled up so my mother took me to the hospital. I stayed in the hospital for 18 weeks before they sent me home, saying I am going to die of bone cancer. This was in 1948/49. Continue reading
I’m passing on the link to an article I wrote, for the publishing addict.com site. It’s called “Grim Commonsense” but I assure you there is nothing grim about it — but rather delight and joy. Here’s the link, if anyone is struggling to write.
Not long ago a Dutch woman wrote me about a book she is writing, in which she interviews women named Sophie (Greek for wisdom), asking, What is Wisdom? And, Given your name, Have you thought about Wisdom?
I won’t tell you my answer to her question. I gave one. But I’m interested in what others think.
Tell me, What is Wisdom? I’ll collect the answers from all you non-sophies and post them here. And maybe I’ll divulge my answer as well.