We Are Living In A 1985 Movie

Welcome To Dystopia

It's 1985 in a darkened movie theater in San Francisco.

The silver screen flickers as shadows of light and dark play across the uplifted faces of moviegoers. Movie scenes pour into the theatre revealing a retro-futuristic world with clacking machines, commonplace bombings and a controlling government dominated by indeterminate rules, bureaucracy and rampant spying.

It's not easy to discern what's real and what isn't. Is this simply the strange life of a movie character reeling before our eyes or a director's distorted dystopia? Or both?

Welcome to the movie, Brazil

Brazil The Movie

Say hello to Sam Lowry. He lives in England in some unspecified future time. 

Sam works in a mind-numbing job and lives in a small apartment. It's set in a consumer-driven world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. One tiny mistake turns Sam's life inside-out and we watch as his world careens out of control. 

In 1985, Brazil was a fantastical movie with a sinister warning of what could befall us if we were not careful. With many scenes stretched to the edge of possibility, none of us thought that it could be a harbinger of what our lives might become.

And yet, here it is.

 
 

The Bombs Go Off

Terrorism is an ongoing problem in Sam's futuristic society. In one scene, the characters are dining in a restaurant. A bomb explodes right next to them. People are wounded and injured, parts of the room are destroyed and on fire.

But, don't fret, the waiters put up a screen to block the view of the carnage. Sam and his dinner guests, along with the other restaurant customers, carry on with their meals.

When I left the movie theatre, I remember saying to myself with the clarity of a cold, clear spring bursting forth from a mountain crevice after a spring thaw:

 
Well, that could never happen. We would never allow terrorism and bombings to take place and carry on like nothing had happened, putting up a screen so we don’t have to see it.
That’s just not possible.
 

My firm affirmation provided comfort and certitude that this sort of thing would not come to pass.

Fast forward in time.

Movie Scenes Become Reality

Quoted below is what one news anchor said on BBC after the bombing in Manchester, England in May 2017. 

 
According to BBC Anchor Katty Kay, Europeans have to get used to terror attacks like the Manchester bombing.

Kay told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday that Europeans have no choice but to get used to terrorists murdering their families because “we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out.”

“Europe is getting used to attacks like this, Mika. They have to, because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out,” Kay said.

“As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, we’re going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe and Europe is starting to get used to that.”
— The Daily Caller
 

No. Just no.

I stand by my first thought back in 1985.

We will never "get used to it" and we must not accept that we have to live side-by-side with terrorism. 

Shoes As Hats

In the movie, Sam's mother makes a fashion statement by wearing an upside-down shoe as a hat when she goes out to dinner. Quite the exaggeration. Surely, this is over the top.

Then, Philip Traecy created a hat that was worn by Princess Beatrice at Kate and William's wedding in 2011. A shoe hat might have been considered tame in comparison. Not so absurd or over the top, after all.

The Traecy hat garnered a lot of attention and press coverage. Enough so, that Princess Beatrice donated the hat to be sold at auction on eBay. The final bid was £ 81,100.01 and the proceeds went to UNICEF and Children in Crisis.

A Bit Of A Complication

Sam's mother and her friends obsess over plastic surgery and debate which surgeon is the best. A singing telegram arrives at Sam's apartment with an invitation to his mother's party  "to celebrate the completion of her recent cosmetic surgery."

One of his mother's friends goes to a different surgeon who uses "acid surgery" and ends up with her face swaddled in bandages oozing bodily fluids. She proclaims in a high-pitched voice, "There's been a little complication with my complication."

In 1985, cosmetic surgery was much less prevalent than it is today. Now, it is ubiquitous and used by young and old alike. Botox, fillers and lifts are available for all parts of our bodies that inherently succumb to earth's gravitational pull. Another bit of foreshadowing in the movie.

Sit Back And Watch The Show

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), this is a great opportunity to benefit from TRT® hands-on while watching Brazil. 

For example, you could focus on Front Position #1 in the heart, or a combination of positions, such as one hand on the abdomen and one in the heart. If you're finding a scene to be stressful, TRT® hands-on can be applied to Front Positions #3 or #4 or Back Positions #3 or #4. 

Watching the movie with an "inner filter of real light" helps to bring insight to your viewing and supports you in light as you're experiencing it.

 
 

A Carefully Crafted Movie

Filled with twist and turns veering up, down and around, there are delightful comedic moments that will leave you chuckling even after the credits roll past. 

Every vignette is a carefully crafted jewel. Terry Gilliam, the director, didn't compromise with throw-away scenes.

Dream sequences morph into real scenes and back again, except, wait, which parts are real and which are not?

The malfunctioning of omnipresent machines, the frustration of filling out forms and awkward personal interactions spill across the story line. Our lives are messy despite our best intentions to keep the ink from smearing all over our carefully written essay.

Perhaps the real existential battle lies within ourselves and the machinations of outer living are only there to serve as a frame on which to hang our inner struggles.

As the scenes spin past, you'll be surprised at the many parallels reflected in our lives today – in a movie from 1985.

 

 

 

We Remember 9/11

Remembering 9/11

Five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or more. It doesn't matter how long ago.

We will remember.

Unimagined Horror

Airplanes, whose purpose is to move us here and there, had that benevolent purpose twisted and perverted. They were used instead as weapons of terror. 

The world watched in horror as airplanes were hijacked and flung into wanton acts of death and destruction.

A photo taken on September 10, 2001

A World Changed Forever

Lives were shattered as evil exploded past barriers of comprehension. There have been a lot of articles that cover the lives lost.

Everyone is familiar with stories of both the fêted and the unsung heroes who selflessly sacrificed for others, for people they didn't even know. We know many stories of loved ones lost.

Sometimes, certain people stand out for us. For me, it's the Hanson family.

A Family Held In Time

The Hanson family is forever frozen in time as a Christmas family from 2010. They were never allowed to live their lives to see their next Christmas.

All three of them were obliterated because they were flying together on United Airlines Flight 175 on September 11, 2001. That plane crashed into the World Trade Center's South Tower.

Their precious little girl, Christine, with her wide smile, red hat and sweater, was only 2 1/2 years old. She was the youngest fatality on the flights. Her parents were Peter and Sue Kim Hanson and they hailed from Massachusetts. They were headed for her first adventure in Disneyland and to visit Sue's family in California.

He Called His Father From The Plane

Phoning from the plane, Peter Hanson was able to reach his father, C. Lee Hanson. Peter told his father that hijackers appeared to be planning to crash the plane into a building.

"Don't worry, Dad. If it happens, it will be quick," Peter said with his Korean-American wife and his little girl, Christine, sitting next to him.

Moments later, Peter's father watched on television as his son's plane burst into a fireball as it hit the World Trade Center building.

Sue Kim Hanson was a doctoral candidate in microbiology-immunology at Boston University. Peter Hanson held an MBA and was vice-president of sales at a software company. Little Christine loved helping her father in the garden.

I didn't know them personally. I have never met any of their family. Yet they remain forever seared upon my heart.

I cannot begin to imagine what they went through in those last moments as their bodies crashed into the building. The intense grief of their family must be exquisitely painful.

People Worked Together

Almost as soon as the World Trade Center’s twin towers fell, thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers, search-and-rescue dogs and volunteers headed to Ground Zero to offer their help.

A search-and-rescue dog from 9/11 is comforted and receives subcutaneous fluids to help with dehydration. 

The cleanup and recovery efforts at Ground Zero lasted for more than a year, with crews working around the clock.

Connect With Events

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), we are able to connect with the events of that time and hold them in our heart even today, no matter how many years have passed.

Students of The First Degree and Second Degree of TRT® can apply extra time in TRT® hands-on in positions of their choice, perhaps in the heart or a combination of heart and solar plexus. 

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can also direct radiant energy to a certain event or to people who touch your heart. It might include our first responders and service dogs who worked tirelessly in rescue operations. Whatever connects with you personally.

A Flower At The 9/11 Memorial

We see the hand of Pope Francis as he lays a white rose on the 9/11 Memorial on September 25, 2015.

The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
— 911memorial.org

We will remember 9/11.

And may we seal the door where darkness and evil dwell.

 

Daylight Saving Time

Here It Comes Again

That persnickety daylight saving time (DST) is here. Already. We barely got a break from it before it's right on top of us again.

Of course, you know the correct term is daylight SAVING (no s) time. But over time, it has been easy for people to add an "s" in their conversations.

I have a theory that we're subconsciously thinking of our monetary "savings" which, heaven knows, is usually too small. Just like the amount of sleep we get in the first days after the time change. That's not very scientific, but a fun idea. 

Benjamin Franklin Invented It

It's likely that Franklin was more joking than serious, when he thought up the idea of daylight saving time many years ago. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the rest of us from enacting it. 

The Verge gave us an article entitled Daylight Saving Time is Hot Garbage from which I quote below :

Daylight Saving Time wasn’t introduced in America until 1918, when it was meant to conserve energy for World War I.
The thought was, essentially, Franklin’s: that people tend be more active in the evenings, so the extra daylight there would mean fewer hours where people lit their houses at night.
After the war, farmers lobbied to get the law repealed; turns out, it’s easier to do farm work when the rest of the world is also on the sun’s schedule.
In 1942, during World War II, DST was enacted again, but year-round.

Daylight saving time didn't end after the war. Congress kept enacting and repealing DST until they finally made it law.

DST was reintroduced by the federal government in 1966, though whether or not it was observed was up to states (Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe DST, for example).
And in 2007, a law passed by President George W. Bush expanded DST by more than a month — it now runs from March to November.
 

Daylight Saving Time purportedly would save us energy consumption and costs. Studies, in fact, prove just the opposite. We consume more energy with our use of electronics and running our air conditions.

With this evidence in place, you'd think we'd remove DST just as easily as we added it, but somehow, it doesn't work that way.

Daylight Saving Time Studies

Not only does daylight saving time do little to save energy, we now have evidence that it has negative effects on our health and safety.

In the two days after the change to daylight saving time, there is a 24% increase in the number of heart attacks and for people over the age of 65, the risk of stroke increases by 23%. The time change is actually a "shock" to our systems. Blood pressure can also increase, putting people at risk for blood clots. These events are usually found in those who already have pre-existing conditions that increase their risk.

To help you with the time change, experts recommend exercise, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and sticking to a schedule. Most notably, they advise us to de-stress.

De-Stress With The Radiance Technique®

To de-stress, we've got some tips for students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®).

Sunday, the first morning after the clocks spring ahead, offers us a great time to benefit from the relaxation and de-stressing effects of TRT® hands-on. As we wake up an hour early, at least according to our bodies, we can relax into the healing of a full hands-on session.

The one-hour TRT® hands-on session balances all levels of our being, psychological and physical. Healing is available to us from deep within our spirit all the way to the cells of our body.

With use of TRT®, I can even experience balancing of my annoyance with DST. We can be on a spiritual journey and still have opinions on a topic. The different sides of a topic can be held in our hearts.

Yay Or Nay For Daylight Saving Time?

Obviously, you can tell I favor elimination of daylight saving time. I trudge through it, like everyone else, but the further we get into fall, the more I long for the return of standard time. 

I'm ready to never have to change my clock again except for those wonderful times when I'm afforded the opportunity to travel to other time zones. 

And you? Where do you stand on the DST debate? Strong feelings on either side? Or maybe just a meh?

Whatever our feelings, I'll see you in November when we change our clocks back!

 

A Baby Girl, Say Hello To A New Princess

A Baby Girl, A New Princess Is Born

The world is atwitter about the birth of a baby girl in England, the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Born 02 may 2015 at 0834, she weighed 8 lbs 3 oz. 

Two footman place the traditional birth notice signed by Kate's medical team on a golden easel outside Buckingham Palace.

Here you see the uptick in Twitter activity after the birth announcement of the little Princess. 

 
Tweets using the hashtag #RoyalBaby peaked at 4,500 per minute at 11.25am, approximately 10 minutes after the princess’s birth was announced.
— Credit: Twitter
 


A Labor Of Love – Time To Have A Baby

As a Registered Nurse who worked in Labor and Delivery/Postpartum for 10 years, I was naturally fascinated with the event. Her second delivery was faster, as is to be expected for subsequent deliveries. However, it was so fast, it makes me think she must have also labored at home.

Perhaps Kate had a midwife or L&D nurse at Kensington Palace to check her progress? Once she reached 4 to 5 centimeters, indicating she was in active labor, they could pop off to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital. It's not much of a drive to get there from the Palace. And, of course, with a police escort, traffic won't get in the way.

For such a short stay on the Labor Ward, the Duke and Duchess received a discount on the costs of their hospital stay. I was delighted that Kate specifically requested the same midwife who delivered Prince George, Jacqui Dunkley-Bent, a Professor of Midwifery.

According to The Telegraph, Professor Dunkley-Bent and fellow midwife Arona Ahmed spent the most time with the Duchess during her labor process. Of course, physicians were standing by should anything go awry that required a quick move into the operating room for a cesarean delivery.

Perhaps An Easy Delivery

One of the hazards of being medical, my mind immediately started to wonder if she had an epidural or not and to consider all the sundry details we encounter on a Labor and Delivery deck, (episiotomy, pitocin, pain meds, well, I'll spare you).

Fortunately, no emergency maneuvers were required as evidenced by Kate's glorious appearance on the steps less than 12 hours after delivery. My observation after many years of caring for postpartum women – it's not common for patients to appear quite so put together, so quickly after delivery.

 

Her breathtaking appearance sets the barre rather high. It doesn't hurt to have a personal assistant and hair stylist to help get you ready along with a beautiful bespoke dress by Jenny Packham. The yellow buttercup flowers on her silk dress sparkled like spring and its ombre effect hinted of falling petals.

Here's a nice look at her dress and its elegant cut in full:

As a second-time mom, Kate knows what to expect. But even so, with such a quick discharge, I would imagine that nursing will provide some home visits to check up on her and the baby.

 

For Students Of The Radiance Technique®

Students of The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique® can direct supportive energy to the new Princess and any or all of the family members. Directing radiant, universal energy that is already within; it adjusts to the needs of the receiver. It's wonderful to share our loving support across time and space, without outer demands or expectations. 

Students of The First Degree of The Radiance Technique® can participate with their TRT® hands-on – expanding their own joy and mutual celebration of the birth of this baby as well as all babies on the planet.

Hashtag #Welcometothefamily

Kate and William extended their circle of celebration to embrace the many babies born recently. With the launch of the royal hashtag #Welcometothefamily, they invited others to participate. I love the inclusiveness of it.

This Princess Will Remain In Line Of Succession

Of special intrigue to me is that this royal baby girl will remain in line of succession only due to new laws that came into effect in March 2015. This change of laws governing succession means that as a girl, for the first time, she will remain ahead of any younger brother in the line of succession.

Previously, under the ancient rules of male primogeniture, royal sons took precedence over their female siblings, even jumping ahead of first-born royal daughters. These laws had been in place since 1701.

For an American like me, unfamiliar with lines of royal succession, I turned to this article in The Telegraph that spells out in detail the present line of succession: New Royal baby will change family tree

 

Celebrating A Birth – A Chance to Come Together

It's great fun following the British Royals; it's part of being here on Planet Earth. If this sort of event is not your cup of tea, that's okay too. We all have our varied interests that come and go; it's what makes the world go 'round.

The next buzz of excitement will be the naming of this beautiful little girl... and here's our update as of 04 May 2015:

Her name is: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Her middle names harken to her great grandmother, the current Queen Elizabeth, and her paternal grandmother, Princess Diana. Charlotte is a feminine form of Charles, perhaps acknowledging her grandfather, Prince Charles.

Her title:

Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge 

Wishing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best in their newly-expanded family.

Congratulations on the birth of the new Princess.

 

Seattle Seahawks And Super Bowl 2015

 

Seahawks And Super Bowl 2015

Super Bowl XLIX.

How exciting for the Seattle Seahawks to make the Super Bowl playoffs.

In the game that qualified them for the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers, the final catch was nothing short of miraculous. A thing of beauty, even if you aren't an aficionado of American football.

Personally, I'm not a huge football fan. I don't follow all the games all season long. However, when it comes to the Super Bowl, it's fun to join in with everyone, especially when one of the teams is from my home town. I mean, I have to support my peeps, if nothing else. When you have friends and family who are cheering for a team, it's fun to connect with them about it.

I love Seattle and the Puget Sound area, so it's easy for me to love the Seattle Seahawks. Along the way to the Super Bowl, I also learnt some fun facts.

Such as: the Seahawks were named after a real bird of prey.

Seahawks – A Real Bird Of Prey

Yes, the seahawk is not a mythical football bird. It actually exists and is also known as an osprey. What a fine bird of prey it is.

Seahawks Selfie

Getting ready for the Super Bowl, wonderful photos of seahawks appeared. This photo of a fierce "Seahawks Selfie" from the National Wildlife Federation in preparation for the game was among them.

Super Bowl Ads

Always one of the great topics of discussion from the Super Bowl are the Super Bowl Ads. It even has its own hashtag #SuperBowlAds. The ads were quite good this year. None were terribly offensive. Some didn't hit the mark; some were moving.

I remember in 2013 the tasteless ad from Go Daddy which, to this day, turns me off from using their company. They operated under the idea that all publicity, is good publicity.

Budweiser is noted for its emotional ads that pluck at heart-strings featuring the magnificent, giant-hoof, Clydesdale horses.

For me, their best ad remains the one from Super Bowl 2013, partly because it plays the nostalgic Fleetwood Mac song of my youth, Landslide. The rough voice of Stevie Nicks scratches out the melody of "even children get older and I'm gettin' older too..."

Here's that Budweiser ad:

Super Bowl Ads 2015

Two ads that stood out for me involved women/girls. The first one, created by the advocacy group called No More, touched on domestic violence. It certainly got my attention. It was a call to 911 under the guise of being a call to a pizza place. I was so struck by it, I had to instant rewind to watch it a second time. Of note, it was based on a real 911 call.

The other one was the #LikeAGirl campaign by Always. I may be a bit of a sap, but it made me teary-eyed when the little girl responded to the question, "what does it mean to run like a girl?"

Little girl: "It means, run, fast as you can."

The phrase even by itself, "run, fast as you can" has all kinds of deeper meanings, if you sit still with that for a moment. My heart crumbles as I watch her sweet face and her eyes blink before she speaks.

Then, her clear voice rings out. Her truth. A greater truth for all of us.

It means, run,  fast as you can.

Directing Energy With The Radiance Technique®

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can direct universal energy to big events like the Super Bowl and include all the participants and all the fans. It is an opportunity for greater service, directing energy to everyone, without attachment to outcome. Of course, this doesn't mean you can't have a favorite team!

These events can be a chance to bring greater light to everyone, in whatever small or big way, from within, without concern for an outcome. In any big event, there is a unity of awareness, a gathering of like-mindedness, and this provides an opportunity for those who have studied The Second Degree of TRT® to direct energy from a deeper point.

You can choose to direct energy to any number of things. You could choose your favorite team, or both the teams. To individuals on the teams. To some of the ads. To the fans. You are only limited by your own ideas.

Students of The First Degree of TRT® are able to apply TRT® hands-on while watching the game, or even leading up to the game. This supports your psychological levels concerning the game as well as deeper levels of who you are. We are interconnected with everyone who is participating.

The New England Patriots Win Super Bowl 2015

In the end, the Seahawks lost the game in a harrowing, hide-behind-my-hands, end-of-the game with a bad Seahawks' offensive call. This was exactly the type of thing that was required to lose, since both teams were well-matched. It could have gone the other way just as easily.

There's always next year.

After a loss like that, the Seahawks will be even more hungry for the victory. Since I'm rooting for them, here's hoping they play in Super Bowl 2016.

Do you have a favorite American football team?

 

World Events – Je Suis Charlie

World Events Take Place In Paris

A day like any other, 07 January 2015, and suddenly a massacre with machine guns. Two masked gunmen forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, and killed twelve people.

Frédéric, the first one killed, just happened to be walking into the offices of Charlie Hebdo to make repairs inside the building. He and his colleague were not even aware of the newspaper. His colleague dragged him into the restroom to protect him and care for him until help came, but Frédéric died in his arms.

World Events – Twitter Hashtag #JeSuisCharlie

As people became aware of the murders of the staff at Charlie Hebdo by Islamic terrorists, France created the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie = "I am Charlie" to represent all the slain cartoonists and the right of free speech. The world responded.

Twitter boards lit up with the most tweeted hashtag in its history. You can see the use of #JeSuisCharlie on Twitter by geographic location in this depiction.

World Events – Those Who Are Murdered

Along with the murder of the staff at Charlie Hebdo, people were also killed in a Jewish grocery store. More innocent deaths took place in the Parisian area, a total of 17 in all.

The initial attack was directed at the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, known for its satire and irreverant religious and political cartoons. Lest you think Muslims were singled out in particular, they actually focussed a lot on general politics and Catholicism and Judaism were not spared either.

World Events – Uderzo, At Age 87, Comes Out Of Retirement To Draw

Albert Uderzo is the creator of Astérix and Obelix, a much loved French comics depicting the escapades of a group of Gauls under Roman occupation. Uderzo retired in 2011.

Uderzo stepped out of retirement to express his solidarity as a cartoonist as well as his sorrow and anger at the recent events. His drawing is in character with his irascible character, Astérix.

 
 

Historical Day For France – La Marche Républicaine

A Paris march to honor the victims of terrorism took place on 11 January 2015. It was an historical event for France, and for the world. People took to the streets to show their solidarity for freedom of speech and to stand against terrorism.

People held gatherings and walks in other parts of the world as well.

Heads of State from around the world joined the President of France for the event. It was remarkable for all of them join each other and walk down the street together.

A record number of people took to the streets to show their solidarity.  At least 3.3 million people came out, the greatest number since the liberation of France in WWII.

I personally don't like crowds, so this view from the balcony would be my ideal spot to participate. (photo by AFP)

World Events – What Does It Mean To You?

This is not a political blog by any means. We are here to celebrate The Radiance Technique®, and naturally part of that celebration is how we use TRT® in our lives.

Our lives include all the personal details of our individual days; it also includes world events swirling around us. Some events touch us directly, others we watch as a witness. In terms of energy, there is nothing that doesn't touch all of us. We are all connected at the deepest inner point. We truly are connected to everything.

The Second Degree Of The Radiance Technique®

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) who have studied The Second Degree of TRT® (and above), it is possible to direct universal energy to world events as well as the details within them.

For example, you could direct energy to the events of the murders. You could take time to direct to each person who was killed (refer to the photo above). This could be done over a period of time, even weeks. You could also include their family and friends grieving for them.

You could direct energy to the entire crowd of people at the rally. You could direct energy to peace prevailing and terrorist acts failing. You can direct to whatever speaks to your heart, even if it is to the people who committed these vicious acts.

When you direct energy, it does not change the world events. The past remains the past as a fixed point in time. But, you do offer supportive, healing energy to all involved, in ways you won't know with your mind. Universal energy will be there for them to heal deep within, as they see fit at the inner-most levels of their being. You offer this energy freely, without knowing an outcome. It is not cause and effect.

The First Degree Of The Radiance Technique®

For students of The First Degree of TRT®, you can work with your TRT® hands-on in your meditations.  Maybe these world events make you sad, maybe you feel immense anger, and then sad again.

These are normal human emotions as a reaction to violent circumstances. You can bring balance and healing to yourself with the use of TRT®.  Be sure to use your Radiant Touch®, your TRT® hands-on, in the moment, when you are having these feelings. You can also combine your TRT® hands-on with a specific meditation.

May peace prevail.

 

The Berlin Wall Falls, Dreams Are Rebuilt

The Berlin Wall Falls Down

It's November 1989.

The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, came down.

Ripped down by the people.

The Berlin Wall comes down - East German soldiers look on 

I remember the day well, reading about it in The New York Times as I rode my commuter bus into work in the financial district of San Francisco. I was utterly amazed.

If you had asked me back then, in the 1980s, if I thought The Wall would come down, I would have answered, "Yes, someday, but not in my lifetime."

And then, there I was, in my lifetime with a fallen wall.

You see, it seemed for my whole life, I'd only known of that Wall being up.

 

West Berlin, East Berlin

I visited West Berlin and that Berlin Wall when I traveled to Northern Europe in the winter of 1983.

I know, that's a crazy time of year to go, but that was our only downtime when I was singing with the San Francisco Opera Company. It was the break between performance seasons, before the next round of rehearsals that would begin in April.

My journey into West Berlin came by a round-about-way – from Moscow on the train. I had stayed 10 days in the Soviet Union (not Russia in those days) and was coming back out from behind the Iron Curtain.

(It's funny, because now we easily and simply say "Berlin" – but, back then, it was clearly either West Berlin or East Berlin. A single Berlin did not exist.)

Below is the Ampelmännchen – pedesterian stop signal used in East Berlin.

Stop! East And West Cannot Meet

I stayed in a modest pension, run by a quiet man in his mid-40s. He served us soft boiled eggs in ceramic egg cups at breakfast. I got to talking with him and he disclosed that his mother lived on the other side of The Wall. He had not seen her in over 20 years. This was not a time of easy-access home computers, FaceTime or Skype internet telephone calls.

He could not go to the East; she could not come to the West. That is, not until she retired. Then she could go to the West and stay there, thank-you-very-much, so the East would not have to pay for her retirement. He described the situation with such sadness.

I had The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique® at that time. I had just finished my class in January 1983, before I took off for my trip. It was wonderful to have the expanded TRT® hands-on of the Radiant Touch® and to be able to direct energy to the various situations I encountered on my travels.

When The Wall fell, six years later, I directed radiant energy to my hotel man and his mother, hoping that they were happily reunited. I didn't have his name or address anymore.

After The Berlin Wall, Reunification

Even though it was fiercely desired, reunification was no easy feat. A lot of history had to be reconciled and East and West differences in thinking and attitude had to mend. No longer would manufactured goods say made in West Germany on the bottom – only Germany existed now (and again).

Granted, I speak as an outsider. I am not German, only German heritage. But, while The Wall was up, my German friends confided with me how they experienced a deep, dividing schism in the psyche of the German people. They often spoke about the need for enormous healing for Germans from both sides.

25 years later, long, good strides of healing have been accomplished. Isn't it interesting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is originally from East Germany?

They said it would take at least one generation to fully reintegrate East and West in spirit, some said it would take two. We've passed one generation now.

I recommend taking a look at this article by Spiegel Online, with its wonderful gallery of photos showing the same place before and after The Wall.

Do you remember The Berlin Wall falling down?