Saturday, March 28, 2020

repairing the real world-- a real life example of tikkun olam

A faithful viewer of Photographer's Diary writes:
"I do a lot of volunteering for an NGO, Mano a Mano. Here in Minnesota we sort and ship medical supplies that would otherwise have been thrown away.
The last time I sorted I went through a box of masks, 2x2 gauze sponges etc. all mixed up together. 
These things are shipped to Cochabamba, Bolivia. 

Twice this week we volunteers have received email stories.  In Cochabamba right now one can only leave home in morning hours on a day that matches one's ID card number. Two staff in Cochabamba were given police escort to warehouse to find N95 masks. 

Today the story is about a truck that showed up from Potosi at 1:45 am in Cochabamba looking for medical supplies. Pull up a map of Bolivia and try to envision that trip on gravel roads. 

Makes all the tedious work here seem very worthwhile."

Friday, March 27, 2020

repairing the world

Tikkun olam, or “repairing the world” is very simple. Any activity that leads to a more harmonious state is valid and valuable. The Chabad organization website, which illuminates Jewish mysticism, explains, “All human activities are opportunities to fulfill this mission, and every human being can be involved in tikkun olam, child or adult, student or entrepreneur, industrialist or artist, caregiver or salesperson, political activist or environmentalist, or just another one of us struggling to keep afloat.”

Each act of repair fine-tunes the instrument that is the universe, and you don’t have to be religious or artistic or political to participate. You just have to be a human. As Chabad puts it, “With each [fix], we are creating meaning out of confusion, harmony from noise, revealing the unique part each creation plays in a universal symphony.”

photo: Hawaiian forest in the rain, Bruce Behnke, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

never, ever...

Never lose hope, my heart, 
miracles dwell in the invisible.


photo: bruce behnke 2010

Saturday, March 21, 2020

the power of nature

Daily we are astonished by the power of nature, both good and bad.
  Let's all take a few moments to remind ourselves of its gentleness, peacefulness and beauty.

  This white anthurium in my garden literally took my breath away when I came across it yesterday.

  One need not travel around the world to find what nature has to offer us; it's often in our own backyard.

photo: (c) bruce behnke 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020


The forest behind my home in Hawaii has been there for a long, long time.  It has seen many changes and endured some challenges; wind, fire, disease and encroachment by mankind.  Yet, it stands there peacefully, bending and adapting to the demands of each day.  It still provides a home to countless birds and animals.  It still channels the frequent rains into the lava rock aquifer.  It still provides me great solace and comfort, even in such trying times.

My advice to all of you, my friends, is to go out into nature, take a walk and let the restorative powers of the forest wash over you.  Peace to all of you.

photo: bruce behnke 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020

we now know what must be done

Image result for multiethnic women

I have learned over the years that
 when one's mind is made up,
 this diminishes fears;
 knowing what must be done
 does away with fear.

~Rosa Parks

International Women's Day 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020

admiration for the three friends of winter

The Chinese celebrated the pine, bamboo and plum together, as they observed that these plants do not wither as the cold days deepen in the winter season, unlike many other plants. Known by the Chinese as the Three Friends of Winter, together they symbolize steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience.

image:  Zhao Mengjian (趙孟堅, ca.1199-1264)
 National Palace Museum, Taipei