Moon Dancer ~ The Night Mare
“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams”
Have you ever seen a starving child? Have you ever seen a child in rags? Have you ever seen a mother – so tired and so ill - in tears not because she is dying, but because she cannot look after her children? Have you ever watched a small child playing and you know that the only thing her parents left her was the AIDS virus? Have you ever watched as people beg for the very things that we throw out? Have you ever been moved by the fact that 19,000 children die each day in Africa? Have you ever thought “that’s awful! Somebody should do something.”? Have you ever realised that someone could be you?
That someone WAS YOU..…and you…and you…and you too! You are all heroes because it was you who reached out.
Yes, you did! So many of you reached out and helped build a bridge by buying Limited Edition prints of my Africa paintings so that all the proceeds could go to help the AIDS orphans who live in dire poverty in a tiny mountain kingdom in Africa which, for some obscure reason, has been overlooked by those large NGOs like Oxfam and UNICEF (‘The Lords of Poverty’ by Graham Hancock). Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in the world and as a result there are are over 15,000 orphan led households in that little unremembered country. Between us, dear bloggy friends, we have raised close to $2,000 for Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke’s Swaziland project, Possible Dreams International. Part of the money we raised has gone to help feed two families for two whole years! (See my side bar) Our contributions have also helped in the construction of a well so that fresh, clean water is available for families in the Mambane region of Swaziland for the first time ever!
In a bid to get to that $2,000 mark in our own particular effort to help Dr. Maithri and his team make life just a little easier for these wonderfully brave people in Swaziland, I would like to do a give-away for my painting ‘Moon Dancer’. The painting was originally made for my grandboy - five year old Henry - when he’d had a rather horrid dream which after much discussion, he and I decided should be turned in a good dream rather than a bad one. So the nightmare became a night mare called Moon Dancer who has an entire galaxy of stars as her friends and a most beautiful home on the moon. Henry’s ‘Moon Dancer’ is about 8” x 6” and is painted in acrylics on Fabriano 400gsm 100% cotton rag. The original painting will go to the winner of the give-away nicely matted and framed and ready to hang. All you have to do is turn a nightmare into a good dream and leave your interpretation in the comments section!
I’ll donate £100 in the winner’s name to Possible Dreams International and Henry’s Mama – who will be choosing the winner of your ‘bad to good dream’ comments – said she would match my donation by giving £100 in Henry’s name to Possible Dreams. Sound good? Well, go on then, start dreaming…..
“There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.”
Jonas Salk was best known for his discovery and development of the first safe and effective polio vaccine. In 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the post war era. Annual epidemics kept getting worse and victims were usually children. By 1952 it was killing more of them than any other communicable disease, with over 300,000 cases and 58,000 deaths, mostly children, reported that year. The "public reaction was to a plague," said historian William O'Neill. "Citizens of urban areas were to be terrified every summer when this frightful visitor returned."
In 1947, while working at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Salk saw an opportunity to develop a vaccine against polio, and devoted himself to this work for the next eight years. The field tests Salk set up were, according to O'Neill, "the most elaborate program of its kind in history, involving 20,000 physicians and public health officers, 64,000 school personnel, and 220,000 volunteers." When news of the discovery was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker, and the day almost became a national holiday. He further endeared himself to the public by refusing to patent the vaccine, as he had no desire to profit personally from the discovery, but merely wished to see the vaccine disseminated as widely as possible. After founding the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, Dr. Salk’s last years were spent searching for a vaccine against AIDS.**
And finally, to help get your imaginations fired up here are a few fun examples of how to turn bad dreams around:
- Skeleton Key You found the key to your heart.
- Being invisible You have nothing to hide
- Growing a tail Because you can't grow a beard
- Sleepwalking You know exactly where you are going in your life
- Empty House It's quite possible you don’t have a brain
- Guitar without strings You ignore rules of convention
- Missing the bus You're on the right track, so keep moving
- Webs Too much time spent on the internet
- Ladder Your superstitions are bunk, switch to urban myths
- Three headed cat Egotism
- Four headed cat You’re a megalomaniac!
(P.S. Due to a series of safaris which have taken us the length and breadth of Britain in the search for our little cottage, I’ve not been around much lately. I’m missing you all hugely, so I can’t wait for things to settle down a bit when I’ll return to my Blog World with renewed energy!)