Grand’pere…


Spike-1AA simple tribute to David “Spike” Shuppert… a.k.a. Grand ‘Pere, who – unexpectedly – rode his new bicycle from a park in Atlanta into God’s presence on the 18th of December, leaving us behind; a mesmerized group of family, friends and acquaintances… all touched by his life in our midst.

He lived and loved instinctively and all-at-once; as imperfect as the rest of us yet, undefeated by the fact, persevering onward and ultimately becoming the loving, caring and pivotal human being that we know him to be.

He moved-on in the same manner and we shall remember and miss him always as such.

To you my angel-friend David – and the rest of us here still – the final stanza of “A Hymn to God The Father” by the English poet John Donne…

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun

my last thread, I shall perish on the shore.

But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son

shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;

and having done that thou hast done…

I fear no more.

Spike-2A

Rest in Peace and Love my dear friend.

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2000-2012

Education informs… individuals decide.


courtesy of Monsanto

Notwithstanding the necessity and correctness of fixing and improving all aspects of the educational system, ultimately it is the “passenger or receiver” that must overcome all faced challenges so as to translate one’s experiences into something useful and lasting…or not.

Few things are definitive or everlasting save for our individual decisions to accept them as so.

Life (in its entirety) is for learning and the educational system an important component meant only to give us a formal foundation; to teach us the fundamentals of “flight”. It is up to each one of us to receive these lessons, practice and learn well or not… then to desire and have the courage to cut-open a window through the wall of our individual limitations through which we may take these learned basics and adapt them to create our individual lifelong learning choices and paths.

I believe it is impossible to over-emphasize the bearing and importance that “family” has on any discussion about formation, learning and passion, but equally, should we not disregard that it is the SELF…the individual that ultimately determines how to collate and weave their past and present experiences into a useful life in an ever evolving spiral.

And so it is Christmas…


I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year” – Charles Dickens

Nativity...

I always loved Christmas and looked forward to the time (about 2 weeks before the day) that my father would let me into his study to see his latest creation of the year… an elaborate and each year unique three-dimensional rendition of the nativity.

The scene would rise from a large base about 3 foot off the floor featuring valleys, lakes and mountains, the highest of which supporting a fragrant real Christmas tree decorated with tinsel, gold & red glass balls and clip-on white wax candles with beautiful red bows at their base,climbing up to the study’s tall ceiling leaving only enough space for the brilliant silver star to be placed on its top. Each year this massive setting would grow; as he would continually add new figurines and different landscapes, to take nearly one-quarter of his study at my last recollection. It was a thing of wonder…

From the day he would unveil it onward, I would spend my evenings before going to bed admiring the details of the scene, the colored sawdust paths lined by real and fragrant mosses, the skaters in the large frozen lake, the shaped and painted canvas he used to form the mountains with bits of evergreen and patches of snow here and there and the joy in the faces of each figurine placed just so throughout his amazing effort and always aimed at the lit manger where a beautifully sculpted baby Jesus lay flanked by his parents and various animals.

I remember staring at it for hours taking on the scent that forever shall remind me and “be” of Christmas, imagining stories for each of the characters… until my mother would bribe me with some milk and a warm cookie to go to bed. I truly learned to dream and fly as Peter Pan only could, by the power of the scene and the immense love that my father poured into it… and me.

One day in my very early twenties, with his work complete, my bigger-than-life father passed-on and – although I stopped celebrating it for many years afterwards until my beautiful daughters graced this world – that strong Christmas vision and light burnt deep within me, continued and remains a time to celebrate the everlasting gift that was this amazing man.

He did well by me and throughout the year I remember him often and try to live with the same richness and quality that he exemplified throughout his short life. I hope that one day, when my daughters experience their first Christmas without me, that they will be as touched and inspired by a love that has no limitations nor knows of seasons.

This is a time of year that more than any other speaks of rebirth; of letting go and imagining new possibilities. It is a time of softness, of peace, of intimacy and hope.

May you all and those dear to you have a warm and memorable Christmas. May your experiences lead you to feel touched by Joy and Wonder and compelled to share-it-forward every single day. For that is the essence of life… so aptly marked by the event.

With Love…

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