"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.."- Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Archive for March 4, 2013

What if…

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What if I never told you I love you with passion
Never showed you the feelings bursting out of my chest
Never gave you always all my absolute best
Just to be quiet for the sake of a fashion?

Could be wise and polite, never speak of pain
Living life on the edge of conventional story
Yet there’s no beauty in souls that are cold, nor is glory…
What if we waited for tomorrow and it never came?

You can smile, I’m still going to say what’s on my soul.
I’m simply passion, madly loving you the best and whole.

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100 words,  memyselfandela, 2013


Life One Step At The Time: Stroke

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Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot.

The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions.  If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

SPOT A STROKE F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs and symptoms of a stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know quickly that you need to call 911(USA)/999(UK) for help. This is important because the sooner a stroke victim gets to the
hospital, the sooner they’ll get treatment. And that can make a remarkable difference in their recovery.

F.A.S.T. is:
Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 (USA) /999(UK) and get them to the hospital immediately.

What to do if you think someone is having a stroke
Immediately call 911(USA)/999(UK) or the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number so an ambulance can be sent.  Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first stroke symptoms appeared. A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of getting better but only if you get them help right away.

A TIA or transient ischemic attack is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms. TIA symptoms usually only last a few minutes but, if left untreated, people who have TIAs have a high risk of stroke. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce the risk of a major stroke.

Beyond F.A.S.T. — Other Symptoms you should know

Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg

Sudden confusion or trouble understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache with no known cause

What stroke risk factors Can be changed, treated or controlled?

High blood pressure — High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and the most important controllable risk factor for stroke. Many people believe the effective treatment of high blood pressure is a key reason for the accelerated decline in the death rates for stroke.
Cigarette smoking — In recent years, studies have shown cigarette smoking to be an important risk factor for stroke. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke damage the cardiovascular system in many ways. The use of oral contraceptives combined with cigarette smoking greatly increases stroke risk.
Diabetes mellitus — Diabetes is an independent risk factor for stroke.  Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and are overweight. This increases their risk even more. While diabetes is treatable, the presence of the disease still increases your risk of stroke.
Carotid or other artery disease — The carotid arteries in your neck supply blood to your brain. A carotid artery narrowed by fatty deposits from atherosclerosis (plaque buildups in artery walls) may become blocked by a blood clot. Carotid artery disease is also called carotid artery stenosis.
Peripheral artery disease is the narrowing of blood vessels carrying blood to leg and arm muscles. It’s caused by fatty buildups of plaque in artery walls. People with peripheral artery disease have a higher risk of carotid artery disease, which raises their risk of stroke.
Atrial fibrillation — This heart rhythm disorder raises the risk for stroke. The heart’s upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively, which can let the blood pool and clot. If a clot breaks off, enters the bloodstream and lodges in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke results.
Other heart disease — People with coronary heart disease or heart failure have a higher risk of stroke than those with hearts that work normally. Dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart), heart valve disease and some types of congenital heart defects also raise the risk of stroke.
Sickle cell disease (also called sickle cell anemia) — This is a genetic disorder that mainly affects African-American and Hispanic children. “Sickled” red blood cells are less able to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. These cells also tend to stick to blood vessel walls, which can block arteries to the brain and cause a stroke.
High blood cholesterol — People with high blood cholesterol have an increased risk for stroke. Also, it appears that low HDL (“good”) cholesterol is a risk factor for stroke in men, but more data are needed to verify its effect in women.
Poor diet — Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. Diets high in sodium (salt) can contribute to increased blood pressure. Diets with excess calories can contribute to obesity. Also, a diet containing five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce the risk of stroke.
Physical inactivity and obesity — Being inactive, obese or both can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. So go on a brisk walk, take the stairs, and do whatever you can to make your life more active. Try to get a total of at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days.


The Sound Of Missing You

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thoughts desert me
breaking like waves against the walls of my existence
can’t live with it, can’t live without it
cannot step out of circles I’ve created myself
every day carries me further
yet I’m on the same path
different landscape
same feeling
this painful sound of
missing you

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memyselfandela, 2013


Good Night Haiku

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heavy eyelid drops
over the world and my soul
dreams on the skyline

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memyselfandela, 2013


Last Of The Wilds

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Last of the wilds.
Yes, that’s what I was born to be. I can lay in this snow and hold my breath listening to the silence , the meaningful silence of this deep wise breathing forest.
I can hear every creature breath around. The shy steps of deer, the hop of the rabbit, ths sneaking of the fox…
I remember how I’ve seen my father hunting a deer for the first time… How I cried watching the deer, how daddy cooked that night… And how I was eating… eating and crying…
Look at those clouds, and the light breaking through the branches… So much beauty… Such a fantastic light…
I can hear the voices of birds calling each other , sending signals in the sky, screaming my presence when I move. How can I possibly forget all that I learned in my childhood playing in here? I remember the sounds, the trees as they were 40 years ago, the paths that got lost and that nobody but me remembers… For the old men that knew this forest better than me are all gone, I am the last now… The last of the wilds…

living in the wild
the human heart finds things that
the eye cannot see.

hear nature breathing
for it’s your heart that makes you
the last of the wilds.

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220 words,  memyselfandela, 2013, Līgo Haībun Challenge


Keep On Playing

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“Hello my love,
I have just came back from the lady. She is amazing. I was absolutely stunned.
She barely saw me coming in and already recognized so many things about me. She even knew how they used to call me when I was a kid. I mean how could she possibly know that? She must have a sixth sense. As she looked in my eyes and read my palm she told me that in my previous life I was a man. Maybe that is why I am so stubborn in this life? I had an artistic soul, that would surlely explain why I am still so very much into music and art. And she told me you know how you love typing on your laptop, the feeling of touching the buttons? well, in your previous life you had no computer, you had only your piano. And you have spent more time with this piano than with any person in your life”. I guess that’s why I love piano music so much. It must remind me of that life.
I asked her about you and me. She took a long look at my love line and said: I cannot tell you what this love will be. Some things I’m not allowed to say”. But as I was going out the door she said: “He will find you again. Don’t be afraid. Everything happens for a reason”. Must be so, love…
I’m so tired now. Talk to you later.
Good night.”

After finishing her email, she found online the track she loved the most and pressed the play button. Laying her frail body to rest she closed her deep shiny eyes listening to the notes echoeing in the room and falling over her body and mind and soul…
Eyes closed the room was spinning as she slipped in a most strange sleep. She could see in her sleep the room and her body resting  with a smile on the face.

Then she saw how her love was coming inside the room. He called her. Funny, why? She was there. She could see him, why could he not see her?
After trying to wake her up, with tears in his eyes he held her tight. Then called the ambulance. Then rested his head on her frozen heart.
The music… incredible music… Lord, what a fantastic feeling, the divine music kept on playing…

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400 words, memyselfandela 2013, Picture it & Write


七転び八起き – Nana korobi ya oki

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If you feel you have no wisdom
Just look around you
Every creature , plant and thing
Will teach you all you need to know.

If you feel that life is breaking you
Learn to flow like the water
Learn to bend like the grass
Learn to whisper like the wind

If you want to be strong
Accept first of all your weaknesses
And be loving and wise.
Fall seven times down, get eight times up.

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memyselfandela, 2013