The Philosophy That Guides

We’ve been reflecting quite a bit as we endeavor to develop this communications platform centered on our Synchronicity Network Newsletter. Our mission, as currently understood, is this:

“The mission of Synchronicity Planning & Communications is to serve and celebrate folks who care for art, science and the common good, improving the quantity and quality of community engagement on Long Island via a networking and communications platform centered on the Synchronicity Network and its Flagship Newsletter.”

Digging deeper, we ask ourselves WHY? For her part, Katie has offered the following:

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Rise and Shine

photo of bird rising over Cold Spring Harbor 2022

Photo entitled “Cold Spring Harbor: Rising 2022” by Katheryn Laible

I remember the wisest, sweetest, most incredible woman I know saying,

“People pray for power. It is better that they will Love,

for Love is the greatest power of All.”

 

I pray: May I remember her teachings well. May I understand them at least enough.

May we together channel more than ourselves;

Manifest Love and Light.

 

Pray for Love. Pray for Truth. Truth and Love in equal measure

For as many before and after have somehow said, “Truth without Love is brutal, and Love without Truth is false.”

This has long made sense to me.  I am still learning that it takes a third leg: Faith.

 

To make a sturdy table, we need Faith.

Faith, Faith, Faith

…to cast away fear, have faith…

 

“Nothing boils in lukewarm water,” she says.

Remember to command, to commune, to comfort; to will harmony in thy multifaceted being

…Truth, Love, Faith…

 

Faith in the Greater.

Faith in each other.

Faith that as we will it already is.

Faith that this Flame I feel deep within is far from mine alone.

Faith that you feel this, too.

 

Humble before God, equal before man, recognizing the God within and the human as well, each manifesting in its own way.

May we will and channel Strength and Dexterity, Grace and Mercy. Healing Light.

Open to the Greater Good without and within, in places that we do not know.

 

She reminds me:

“There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future,”

“He loves you not for what you are but for what you are becoming.”

 

“Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono,”

I hear other voices say.

She speaks to me of Lady Quan Yin.

They remind me to start on a path to Forgiveness,

to Uplift, to Enlightenment with myself;

to be grateful for every blessing and each accomplishment no matter how small, 

 

For the smallest is the greatest.

For so little do we know, For we all know a little.

May we appreciate all that is Good, Humble and Grateful to be so blessed. 

 

She advises Joyful Anticipation.

Discerning and Healing. Flexible and Strong. Reconciling.

Forgiving. Transcending. Overcoming.

 

Calling all who Will to Transmute the lesser,  To Receive, Accelerate and Amplify the Greater.

Manifest Love. Be the Light. Keep the Faith.

Honor the Divine within and without.

 

This indigenous wise-woman who communes with All reminds me of St. Francis’ Prayer. “Let me be an Instrument of Thy Peace.”

Faithfully. Humbly. Gratefully. Evermore.

 

This I Pray. Namaste. Amem.

This piece was updated 6/9/23

We Will Never Forget…

Photo of the WTC memorial lights by Colin Hopkins

We Will Never Forget… Photo of the WTC memorial lights by Colin Hopkins, Local 580 Iron Workers. Colin was on week three of work when the towers fell, a day when these folks and many others who never expected to be such, came to serve as first responders and who continued working at the site for weeks after the attack. Later, Colin was also among those present at work who got to witness the Freedom Spire rise…

We Will Never Forget…

Over the last two decades, we have learned a new rhythm….The end of summer comes, there is a flurry of activity about getting kids prepared for and off to school, and then, the moment all settles down the weight of solemn remembrance overshadows everything but the realization of how lucky we are to have that terrible event cast such a pall over our beings only once a year. Our hearts go out to so many others who lost so much…who experienced so much…who have since endured so much…

We remember the first puzzled and then stunned and horrified voices of the professionals whose job it is to tell us the bad news every day. We recall the images that replayed, the bells that rang, the world that all but stopped.

We remember the selfless bravery of firemen who went in where anyone in their “right mind” would be running out.

We remember the horrific loss of 2,977 innocent lives, including 343 of those firemen, 60 police officers and 8 EMTS. We remember the probability that anyone we encountered may have just lost someone dear. We remember how some of those who perished did so heroically apprehending hijackers and crashing their own plane.

Our hearts twist in the simultaneous gratitude for the miracle of how, despite intense confusion, so many lived to tell their tale or simply were not there.

We remember the people walking over the Brooklyn Bridge…covered in dust…the people being rescued from the end of Manhattan Island…the people desperately seeking people who would never be found.

We remember the school children who did not know. We remember the teachers who did, but could not tell them. We remember the beautiful day slowly overcast by those beautiful, yet terrible clouds. We remeber the taste. We remember the smell.

We remember the iron workers, the dock builders and the other hard working Long Islanders who heard of the disaster and raced to the scene to see if they could be of service. We remember those who spent weeks upon weeks shoveling through the twisted debris. We remember the price so many have paid for their commitment.

We remember being implored to go out and live. We remember being told it was patriotic to shop. We remember wishing there was something more meaningful to do. We remember Paul McCartney and the musicians he gathered to play for the world and those first responders. We remember Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick who were on Broadway as The Producers, and how they epitomized the notion that “the show must go on.”…how meaningful it was to simply carry on.

We remember the brave men and women who have been at war ever since that fateful day. We pray that they and all the others who bear intense burdens and indelible scars will be properly cared for. We pray for a peace that seems so very far away.

We look down at children, and now young adults, who never knew the days before then; who never wondered at those impossibly tall buildings but may have marveled at those even taller beams of light; who never felt that fateful day; who look at us in bewilderment at the ongoing challenges, both at home and abroad…who wish, sometimes loudly, other times in quiet sighs, that the adults of this world would finally grow up.

We remember the noble ideals that we stand for. We remember how innocent we were. We realize on how much has changed since then, including an explosion of communication that somehow seems to have opened chasms between good people of different perspectives, and tidal waves of information that seem to only muddy any sense we once had of the truth. We reflect on how much we still have to learn, and on how much we seem to have forgotten…

We remind ourselves that while the battle may rage on within our hearts and across this world, we must never let terror win. We must never let the blind hatred that enables it to win. We must overcome.

But how?

The words of many sages come to mind; visionaries and scholars of so many cultures and kinds. We keep coming back to the wisest ones; the ones who seem to have mattered the most…

Over and over they whisper from the ages the same small, powerful yet humble, healing, overcoming, uplifting light of a word…

And so…we reflect…on Love.

A 4th of July Reflection on US

The 4th of July honors the US Declaration of Independence. Its most well-known passage is the foundation upon which the colonists’ grievances were justified and a bold declaration of human rights…

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Happy Father’s Day!

Photo of my father, wandering the village of his grandfather

Thinking About Fathers by Katheryn Laible

Happy Father’s Day!

Here is a photo of my own father, wandering through the village of his grandfather, telling stories about him, the mother he raised, his own father, and his father…

I am grateful for him, for them, for my sweet husband, and for all who give it their best to be a good man and serve as a father. It means more than I can say….Thank you!

Apparently Father’s Day didn’t come about until quite a few decades after Mother’s Day. In fact, while in the US it was apparently initiated by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in 1909, whose dad raised her and her five siblings alone, it didn’t become an official national thing until 1972!

You can read about that and other fascinating bits in this Britannica entry, as well as in this History.com article.

I love this collection of “The Best Quotes on Fatherhood” from The Art of Manliness

Did you know there’s a National Fatherhood Initiative dedicated to helping foster fatherhood?

I am also really, really grateful for all who step up to serve in a fathering role, This expecially includes all those folks who for one reason or another end up wearing both mother and father hats, and those who are determined to be the father they wish they had.

One sweet and broadly helpful example is this guy, Rob Kenney who hosts “Dad, how do I?” on YouTube. Kenny’s dedicated to doing his “best to provide useful, practical content to many basic tasks that everyone should know how to do.” He started out just trying to do it for his own kids, and now we all benefit.

Grateful!

How to Help Ukraine

Pop art photo of sunflowers

Help Ukraine: Proceeds from sales of this print “Technicolor Sunflower Vibrations” by Katheryn Laible (available at the Firefly Artists in Northport) will be directed to CARE.

Below is a list of ways we might help people impacted by the war in Ukraine.
 
The assault by Russia is a heartbreaking atrocity that many somehow thought Europe was now beyond. As we pray for all involved…which really is everybody at the very least due to our intricately woven economies…I hope it also brings us to see people from other war-torn circumstances with more compassion and recognition of our shared humanity.
 
Fascinating conversations with folks I might think of as “more foreign to me” have underlined this deeply. I am ever grateful to live in such a melting pot where I can look so many different folks in the eye and hear their perspectives. Now that we’re able to gather intimately with strangers again, I realize how very much I’ve missed this, and how deeply valuable it is.
 
They and others remind me to reflect on how very precious things we may take for granted here are; to recognize that this conflict is at least in some deep way about fundamental values we as a Nation have managed to secularly enshrine: Freedoms of conscience and expression. A right to self determination. The basic human right for civilians to live in peace. The fact that for whatever we may have to criticize about ourselves — and, yes, we do have our fair share! —  the very fact that we get to do so as robustly as we will is a valuable privilege too many do not have. 
 
It makes me think about so many things we squabble about at home — and also makes me think about how…while we are far from perfect…our role as a “beacon of light” for so many people the world over has been important. It doesn’t make us as individuals any better than other people, but it does point to some very special things we have managed to achieve and still remain a steward and champion of, if we will take that responsibility. 
 
As our dear Founding Father, an incredible if also very human being, Benjamin Franklin, famously said: We have “a Republic. If you will keep it.”
 
It makes me wonder: If we don’t continue to champion the inalienable rights and noble ideals this nation was founded upon and that so many have fought to more fully realize, then who will? Who possibly could? It helps me get my own priorities in order, even as I’m not entirely sure how to reconcile my fundamental principles into this on beyond wired new world…
 
The term “freedom isn’t free” comes to mind from a number of different perspectives as I am struck by how these ideals may be undermined not only by sometimes violent censorship, but also by active disinformation and practical concerns.  I am concurrently profoundly moved by how very hard people who really know the value of these rights will fight to maintain them, or determine to assert them anyway, despite even the most pressing of practical concerns.
 
We are witnessing incredible stories of resilience and determination among the Ukrainians, as well as among people who stand to support them, including from within Russia itself. At the same time, we are also forced to reckon with the fact that there are people — some of whom wield incredible power — that seem to have no regard whatsoever for innocent human lives, let alone our noble ideals. All the while, we are once again getting to fairly directly experience how deeply interconnected we are, how much it costs to dance with the devil, and how exceptionally difficult it can be to know the best course through things, even when guided by the best of intentions…
 
At the limits of my human capacity to effect change for the better, I pray. For the people of Ukraine. For the people of Russia. For my dear, dear nation and for this whole world we share. May we somehow come through this time better than we were before.
 
Here is a collection of resources for those who’d like to better understand and to help the people impacted by this war. Grateful thanks to all who live to make things better:
 
Tips on dealing with difficult news stories

“5 Tips for Dealing with War in Ukraine News Coverage” from the Fair Media council.

How to talk to your kids about the war in Ukraine (And other tough topics)” from the Long Island Press

 
Some Analyses of the situation

Why Has Russia Invaded Ukraine and What Does Putin Want?” from the BBC

The Grid is “a collaborative newsroom of beat reporters, subject editors and data journalists who work together to show how the areas we cover are interconnected.” It’s quite a way to take in the situation.

 

Insights from the Harvard Kennedy School

NPR and WNYC have been covering disinformation campaigns and their responses in the region for quite some time. It’s a really important topic. Here’s a more general series on Untangling Disinformation from NPR.

Here at home is a a story in Newsday about one Long Island family (subscription required) who has taken in childhood friends from Ukraine.

 
Ways You Can Help
This a sampling of resources. As always, it is strongly recommended that folks research to make sure that whatever they donate to is a reputable organization that aligns with their values.
 

The Long Island Community Foundation provides a list of well-vetted organizations to help refugee and humanitarian efforts related to the war.

Solidarity with Ukraine” from LI Business News (subscription required) reports on a number of local efforts. It also includes links to support an endeavor by Northwell Health in partnership with Doctors Without Borders, as well as funds created by the National Bank of Ukraine, Razom for Ukraine and HIAS in Ukraine

#United for Ukraine: You can find out about this United Way Global effort through the United Way of Long Island and how you can support United Way’s vetted, nonpartisan partners on the ground, including United Way Romania, United Way Hungary and Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw (Good Initiatives Foundation) in Poland.”
 

23 Ways you can help Ukraine right now from TimeOuthere.com

30 Meaningful Ways to Help Ukraine from Global Citizen

 
A Few Hyper-Local Efforts

Your school, your church, your office, you local watering hole may be doing something. I’d love to hear about it! Here are a few lovely things we’ve noticed:

Three Places on Long Island to Donate to Aid Ukraine” by LongIsland.com. A Babylon effort, an Islip effort and a Long Islander who was born in Ukraine who is channeling donations

“Artists on East End put work up for auction to raise money for Ukraine” (subscription required) from Newsday. The auction, “Artists for Ukraine” will donate every penny of sales. It’s happening this weekend at “The Church” in Sag Harbor

East End: Main Prospect making dishes to help Ukrainian people” from News12 Long Island, this is a report on a Southampton restaurant that’s already raised over $10,000 making authentic Ukrainian dishes.

Artisans from the Nest on Main in Northport have come together to offer “The Sunflower Collection.” Proceeds from this collection will be donated to Ukrainian relief efforts through World Central Kitchen.

Paws of War in Nesconset have this on their website: “Since 2014, we have brought over 300 dogs and cats, rescued by our troops serving overseas to safety in the U.S. We have provided 100’s of Veterans with service and support dogs rescued from kill shelters.” Now they have a huge focus on Ukraine.
 
 
Magnet from local school Russian Club
"The Russian Club at school was selling these to help people in Ukraine," my son told me. "I thought you'd appreciate that so I got you one." I do. Thanks.

21st Annual Smart Growth Awards: LIVE and In-Person!

Smart Growth Awards Logo

For over 20 years Vision Long Island has been honoring individuals, organizations, and projects that advance the growth of our downtowns and infrastructure. Specific focus areas include transit oriented development, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, traffic calming, transportation enhancements, clean energy and community based planning.

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