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God is dead


I was quite surprised to learn that the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry Prince Harry and his divorcée fiancé in a church of God. As a divorced catholic, my priest could do no such thing as there would be too much hell, fire, brimstone and damnation to deal with. Until recently as a divorced woman I was not allowed to take communion and certainly at mass on Sundays, I clearly stick out like a sore thumb when I attend on my own with no cherubic horde of offspring or husband on my arm. Yet the outward appearance is superfluous to me. You see, my relationship with God is extremely personal. There is an understanding evolving between my inner being and God every single day and I live accordin...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Our dark winters feed the soul


My daily walk in a vast open field with nothing but the sky for company. This is what I see morning and night while our winter has forced the sun into hiding. The short, dark days where our eyes are dazzled by the faintest ray of sunlight, are the perfect time to commune with our inner being- that true self which is concealed beneath the façade we present to the world. I LOVE my solitary walks where I can distinguish the crows, finches and wrens from the sparrows in the dark as they rustle branches on their return to roost. I feel safe despite being alone or perhaps my age means that I am prepared for anything. A lack of fear is not courage but a knowledge that the universe is more in contro...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Freezing Brrrr..itain


Age has caught up with me- rheumatism in winter which gets worse when temperatures dip below zero. Last weekend I felt so cold out walking in open frost-covered fields as unrelenting biting wind stung my face that I actually contemplated abandoning exercise altogether. My favourite thing in the whole wide world is walking which I could do forever and the prospect of not being able to cover ten or fifteen miles a day for fun over the weekend especially, has sent me into a morose, 'poor me' state. I can't say that I am looking forward to my rheumatism getting worse as I age. I don't mind the grey hair, the sagging bits but I do mind not being able to walk. The other option is to emigrate to a ...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Just the way you are


Yesterday I popped into London, the center of the universe, inhabited by the Gods of all things historic, materialistic, fast and furious. I had plans to meet old friends- two who I hadn't seen or spoken to in 16 years and another who I had last clasped eyes on 21 years ago (and who I have known since we were both four years old). Wow! None of us had seen the time fly or our feelings change for one another. We reconnected as if the elapsed time had been so fleeting we hadn't realised we were older and very much greyer, the children were all grown up and the usual dramas of life had never even happened. None of was particularly interested in material accomplishments to brag about but all of u...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Sexual harassment and the sheer hypocrisy of it all


I've written before about being sexually harassed. I can recall several separate incidents where men behaved inappropriately towards me. Rampant inappropriate behaviour was all the rage in my salad days where the flush of youth, a heady combination of throbbing hormones and plump lips sends men sniffing around hoping to strike lucky. I was able to extricate myself from unwanted embraces and tongues down my throat and on each occasion the men reluctantly albeit gracefully backed off. One of my bosses made it plain that if I didn't sleep with him I would not get promoted. I resigned and went off to explore life and eventually found a new job. When I look back on all these experiences all I can...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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My latest article on The Huffington Post


13 October 2017 Archive of all my articles on The Huffington Post Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Banish The Blues By Living In The Present


I used to be unhappy until I understood how to live in the present moment. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about being spontaneous to the point of not thinking about the effects of my actions, I'm describing a more philosophical approach to living in the now. What is the now? Perhaps I should begin by explaining that our perception of reality is in fact the culmination of the past and an anticipation of the future. For example, we have opinions or behave in a certain manner based on our upbringing or past experiences. We regard the future as a phase in our lives when we hope to able to enjoy retirement because we would have saved enough to do so, etc... In the middle between past and...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Charity in Times of Disaster

How Can We Help You? The infamous words you here when you enter any charity, be it a church, a non-profit or even a place labeled as one that rehabilitates and restores, are "How can we help you?" But do most charities truly help, as Jesus did? or "The Good Samaritan?" (Luke 10:25-37) Let me ask you, when was the last time you needed help and had to go to a charity? Do you remember the process? Was the person taking your information warm, compassionate, offering unrelenting support and understanding? What was the aura of the place? Was it orderly, clean, and engaging? How long did you have to wait? Were there long lines, people skipping you, fighting? Were you told to come back, or were you ...
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Some love affairs never end


Je t'aime Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Endless possibilities


I feel sorry for those who live in cities, cooped up in apartments without a view or a vista that propels the soul into a realm far beyond the ordinary. This evening sky symbolises all that it happening in my life: change, transience, new beginnings, hope. I would often open a book randomly and more often than not, would fall upon a page where exactly what was happening in my life was mirrored on the page. Nature is the book of life and here it is in all its glory. Guess what's happening to me. Evening walk with the hounds. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Bordeaux, je t'aime


The one constant in my life is my love of France. I am lucky to live very near to France and can hop over quite easily. And so once again I ventured off solo with one suitcase and one piece of hand luggage in case my suitcase got lost. I normally drive but this time decided to fly. I had spent many happy years as a student at university in Bordeaux. This time I was going to tour vineyards and take a couple of wine courses. And I should add, meet old friends who I was at university with thirty + years ago. Suffice it to say that my trip was the best holiday of my life and one which I could probably write a book about. We're older but we're the same and how we feel will never change- that was ...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

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Today's Prophecy: The Wrath of God

The Citizens of the World V.S God the Creator of the World In today's world the concept of God's wrath upsets most people in that they perceive God to be cruel, unkind, and even merciless but this way of thinking is why the very reason why God's wrath is just. We live in times when people choose to put themselves over God, this in itself is deserving of God's wrath. People ask, "How can God permit evil?" "Why does God allow natural disasters that take the lives of so many people?" "Why does bad things happen to good people?" The list goes on. God is blamed for just about any catastrophe and adversity humans go through on a regular basis, but let's be fair and accurate here for a minute shall...
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Office Affairs: Who cares?

I think it’s safe to say, office affairs are relatively common. While having an affair isn’t exactly an occupational requirement, there may be some unexpected on-the-job training. Of course, most businesses rely on their employees to act according to their code of conduct, as in: a well-organized, respectful and collaborative environment (per workable.com/templates). Even industries that cater to sex: strip clubs, brothels and the like, have a code that must be followed to secure the protection and safety of their investments. The bottom line is serious biz in any sector. No matter which field; how small or large the industry–there will be opportunities for personal collaboration. Plenty. Cl...
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Eyeway Robbery

Eyeway Robbery
It’s raining. Some liken raindrops to tears…. Our beautiful nation is criticizing itself to death. It is a time for tears… for those who have given up…. I repeat… for those who have given up. Or as a few of us know, rung the bell…. Regulations will mean fewer cars on the highway. Laws mean there will be less freedom of thought as more subjects are added to the avoid list. The highways of the mind will be regimented. Heads are already locked at a downward angle pursuing what little truth is left on the internet. Eyeway robbery? Thoughts are being stopped and interrogated. DUI. Driver under the influence of the subversive Truth. Whistleblowing is no longer effective. Everything the eye sees an...
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The Hefty Price of Infidelity

Infidelity and money. Two delicate subjects. Separately, each spark provocative responses. Together: highly flammable. No one appreciates a messy relationship, nor messy money. People who gamble with infidelity put their finances into very shaky hands. Credit cards, hotels, trips, dinners, gifts and whatever else is splurged upon for a quick fix, or ongoing liaison; cost some bucks. And this is only a small portion of the financial pie being expended. There’s hush money, which may or may not silence the betrayed (returning to a spouse may also feel like betrayal to a paramour). The ante could be upped, depending. Stalkers? You may need a PI. They don’t come cheap. Emergency doctor visit for ...
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Made In America

Made in America
I was made in America. I was born in New York. I was not born in Africa. I was not born in China. I was not born in Iran. I was not born in Mexico. How come I was not born in Siberia? I don’t know. But I’d like to meet the Guy who made the decision and shake His hand. Why does everyone want to come here? Can’t they just leave us alone and solve their own problems. We did ours… Kill off as many of your own as you want. Just leave us alone. We will even provide a little foreign aid for you if you do. We don’t have anything you can’t have. Liberty, Justice, and Freedom for all. Just do it. Equality? Human rights? Just words that make such good common sense that everyone understands. Capiche?? S...
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Drone Dragon

Drone Dragon
Dragons are only seen in scary movies. Flying serpents. They breathe fire and stand up roaring. They frighten kids only. Though they may still be seen in the skies of Tibet… Coming down and ruining picnics…. LOL Predators are large dragon-like flying drones. They capture all the information from above and send fire and missiles down to reap destruction. Hopefully never missing their evil targets. Today there is a new noise up in the skies. A high-pitched faint buzzing. You can’t see them but they are videoing all that they see. Some take pretty pictures of fancy homes to be sold. Houses come alive with intrigue as they are filmed at sunset from above. Magical marketing. The police use them t...
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Bonnie Gossip

Bonnie Gossip
Bonnie gossip is Scottish. Lassie’s talking about kilts… LOL Gossip keeps lips active all over the world. It doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be new. Wives can’t wait to go to the grocery store because as they check out they can scan all the gossip magazine covers. Mostly about unhappy celebrities in some kind of self-induced jam. One wonders how one would feel if we were in their shoes? Gossip seldom does good. It too often never stays the same and can’t be trusted. Except that we want to trust it.… Crazy? Wouldn’t it be great if only good gossip would be printed… or at least 50% good… so gossip could have redeeming value? Maybe government could help and create the NGA, a National Go...
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A Buddy Died

Buddy And Me
They pounded their Tridents onto the coffin. Salutes. A new flag in Arlington. A folded one handed to a wife. A mother’s hand on her shoulder. Kids dressed up. Buddies at attention. Fingers pulling triggers, jarring the still.   Buddies are important. They offer their lives as protection. I swam with some. One was my Golden Retriever. His name was “Buddy”. We lost him last night. This is Love. ##### Chris Bent, former Navy SEAL UDT-21, is the author of 11 books . Troubled by all the pain and injustice in the world he is driven to write in brief chapters that touch universal truths. Helping us search and find where we are meant to go. Helping us make a difference. Helping us not to quit. Hope...
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Got It Covered

Got It Covered
“Got it covered Dad”. All of a sudden this new phrase enters my world. Is it about making the bed? Is it about my car cover? Car covers are really important as they protect and give longer life and appeal to our most prized possession other than self. Bet car cover companies could make a fortune if they made people covers. Fewer wrinkles. Weight control. Better sleeping….. “Got it covered Dad”. Got to think about it… Have never seen it in literature and the TV that I watch. It is annoying that I have to learn vocabulary from younger generations and my children and…. Grandchildren…aghhh… “No worries” drives me nuts. It is so stupid. That the person saying it is absolved of any responsibility ...
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