Portuguese – Aladim e a Lâmpada Maravilhosa, parte 2

Once again, this is not a translation. This is my retelling of the story as an exercise in learning the Portuguese language. And for the record, I really do not like the new editing programme for WordPress.

O feiticeiro disse a Aladim que ele – quero dizer o feiticeiro – era o tio do Aladim, o irmão do pai dele. Ele ganhou a confiaça do Aladim e da mãe dele. E depois, ele pede a Aladim que o ajude. Ele disse que o que ele queria que Aladim fizesse os faria ricos. Aladim disse sim, do claro.

O feiticeiro levou Aladim para lugar nas montanhos não muito longe da cidade, onde havia uma grande pedra plana no chão e. Abaixo daquela pedra, disse o feiticeiro, era uma caverna cheia de tesouros.

Mas essa caverna de tesouro era a última das várias camaras, as primeiras continham jardins encantados, onde cresceu árvores com flores que eram jóies e folhas que eram metais preciosos. O suficiente para fazer rico um pobre garoto; mas se alguém tocasse em algo nesses jardins, essa pessoa morreria.

Essa pessoa morreria a menos que tivesse a lâmpada que estava na última caverna.

O feiticeiro propôs que ele e Aladim afastassem a pedra da apertura e ele – o seja, o feiticeiro – entraria na caverna e pegaria o tesouro. Mas quando a pedra foi afastada, eles descobriram que a abertura era muito apertado para o feiticeiro – o que ele já sabia. Ele sempre soube disso.

O plan dele sempre era para Aladim entrar a caverna e pegar a lâmpada. Esta lâmpada era a única coisa que o feiticeiro querou. Foi pela lãmpada o que ele viera para a China em primeiro lugar.

Aladim estava com medo. O túnel na caverna era escuro e perigoso. O feiticeiro deu a Aladim um anel mágico. Ele disse que o anel mantivesse Aladim salva.

Aladim entrou no túnel. Ele encontrou tudo como o feiticeiro disse. Ele passou pelos jardins encantados, cada uma mais bonita que a anterior. Ele toma cuidado para não tocar em nada. Ele chegou à última caverna. Encontrou caixas cheios de moedas de ouro e prata. Encontrou a lâmpada.

Não era uma lâmpada muito especial. Era velha e desgastado, feito de latão. Era apenas uma lâmpada velha e comum, do tipo usada todos os dias.

Aladim fez como o feiticeiro lhe disse ; ele esvaziou o óleo da lâmpada e colocou a lâmpada dentro a sua camisa. Então ele pegou moedas de ouro e de prata das caixas e as colocou dentro a camisa em cima da lâmpada. Quando voltou pelas cavernas onde ficavam os jardins encantados, ele quebrou ramazinhos que tinham flores de jóies e folhas de ouro e prata e os colocou dentro a camisa em cima das moedas. Ele pegou algo de todas as cavernas que ele atravessou e colocou cada coisa dentro a camisa. A camisa dele ficou muito cheia. E pesada.

O feiticeiro estava esperando na abertura. Aladim descobriu que estava muito pesado para subir e ele grito para o feiticeiro, quem ele achou ser o tio dele, lhe ajudar. O feiticeiro disse a Aladim lhe dar a lâmpada mas a lâmpada era no fundo das coisas que era dentro à camisa do Aladim.

O feiticeiro ficou zangado. Ele decidiu que, se não pudesse ter a lâmpada, ninguém mais o faria. Ele colocou a pedra de volta no topo da abertura, fechando o túnel. Depois ele empilhou mais pedras e rochas em cima disso.

Aladim foi preso.


Português – Aladim e a Lâmpada Maravilhosa

I have been studying Portuguese since September 2019, mostly using the Duolingo app (up to 229 days of lessons as of today). I’m at the point where I need to stretch my understanding beyond the stand-alone sentences of the lessons.

One of these “stretching exercises” is to research and write essays using the Portuguese language wikipedia. Yesterday I decided that rather than write an essay on Aladin, I would write my own version of the story – in Portuguese, using words (and some phrases) from the article.

This is my attempt at the introduction.

Aladim e a Lâmpada Maravilhosa

Há muito tempo atrás em um país longe fora (quero dizer a China) vivia um jovem adolescente travesso chamado Aladim.

O pai dele era um alfaiate pobre mas Aladim não tinha interessante em ser um alfaiate e se recusou a aprender o ofício. Ele prefereu brincar com os amigos nas ruas a trabalhar com o pai dele. O pai morreu quando Aladim tinha quinze anos. Havido só Aladim e a sua mãe e eles foram muito pobre. Aladim não era preocupado; ele não mudou o mente nem os modos dele e ele continuou se recusar a aprender o ofício do pai – ou qualquer outro também. A mãe dele o chamou mau e desobediente mas ele não mudesse.

Um dia enquanto Aladim foi brincando na rua, um feiticeiro Africano o vê. Aladim era um garoto moreno, mais moreno que os amigos dele. O feiticeiro Africano precisava de um rapaz para ajudá-lo obter um objeto mágico. Ele pensou que Aladim seria o idioto perfeito para o trabalho.

O feiticero fiz perguntas sobre Aladim e a família dele. Ele soube que o pai do Aladim era moreno e também que ele estava morto. Ele soube que o pai do Aladim era estrangeiro; ele não era daquela cidade da China (não me lembro o nome da cidade mas era bem grande).

O feiticeiro fez um plano.

New dolls

The amazing Jennie Bagrowski has been posting patterns for a virtual doll vacation in Japan for Lottie. She started with an animal/ yokai companion. https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/lotties-sidekick/

I don’t have a Lottie doll, so I decided to use a similarly sized Maiden Curlyhair doll by Mattel (circa 1990s). I created a couple of rabbit companions for her out of light-weight white flannel.
Easter-2020 (2)
(left to right – Harvey Clint, Maiden Curlyhair, Harvey Kev)

The kimono Harvey Clint is wearing is made from a Wrenfeathers pattern from 2018 for a fake lined kimono for an 8 in doll (https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/make-a-kimono-with-fake-lining/) although I shortened the sleeves to make them more manageable. (https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2015/07/)

The rabbit dolls are based on a pattern I copied out of a Needle and Thread magazine Sept/ Oct. 1984.

Then I went off on a tangent. I had a couple of rabbits, and I wanted a fox. Jennie Bagrowski had posted a pattern for a fox mask to fit a 13 inch doll. (https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/get-ready-for-halloween/). I copied the pattern at 60% full size, enlongated the snout and made the sides a bit longer. Then I made another doll, using beige felt. I’m pleased with how he turned out.

(Maro of the Morioko family)

The two Harvey rabbits are named firstly for the Jimmy Stewart movie because I adore the idea of a phouka in the form of a 6 foot tall rabbit. Kev’s square jaw appearance reminds me of the titular character of the Kevin and Kell webcomic; Clint (once I put the dark glasses on him) makes me think of Dirty Harry (but Harvey Harry was just NOT going to cut it!). For the name of the fox spirit, I went to my baby name book.

According to that source, Maro means “myself” – which is an appropriate name for a trickster spirit. Morio means “forest” and -ko is “child” – so Morioko Maro is Myself Forest-child.

Here’s a picture of Maro and Clint side by side.

Challenge Poem

And now for something completely different.

Yesterday a friend posted a list of words (a photo of magnetic poetry words) with a challenge to create a poem from them. I’m studying Portuguese. I found out that I could come up with the Portuguese for 31 of the words she posted – did not know or wasn’t sure of 18.

What I wrote is more of a paragraph than a poem.

O Sol é no céu; a Lua vai dormir. O dia começa.
A luz chega. Ela salta abaixo do sol, abaixo do céu, como o mel sobre a terra. A noite ràpidamente voa porque a luz rasga o preto dela.
Os pássaros acordam. Estes começa cantar, dizer “bem-vindo” ao Sol. E o céu está ficando azul.

Easter meditation – Bread

I’ve been meditating lately on the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer – “give us this day our daily bread”.

I’ve mentioned before that it bothers me – most of the prayer is about the spirit. Acknowledging God; agreeing to do His will on earth in order to make it part of His kingdom; expressing understanding of how our behaviour and attitudes will affect us in God’s kingdom and also acknowledging that we will be tested and tempted.

Then the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread”. It is so … passive. And it feels like a lie. God doesn’t give us food, we have to work for it – grow it or buy it from those who grow it.

I’ve come to believe that the word “bread” in this context doesn’t mean manna from heaven that comes down free for the picking, nor does it mean only food. I think that the word “bread” refers to everything on the earth and in the cosmos that is there and real for our use and the use of all of God’s creation.

Part of my thought process is from the passage wherein the devil tempts Jesus fasting in the desert. When Jesus says “Man does not live by bread alone”, he’s obviously not just talking about food because he continues, saying “but by every word of God”. With that, he makes it clear that we also need food for the spirit – which comes from interactions with others on this plane and from communion with the Divine.


There are many in the United States who feed their spirit and so encourage the growth of spirit in others. We practise patience and love and good works. We do not live the so-called “American Dream” that Horatio Alger made so prevalent and popular.

The current resident of the White House is the embodiment of Horatio Alger’s “American Dream”. His grandfather came to this country, invested in brothels and tenements and made money on the broken dreams of others. His father continued this soul-crushing rise to wealth and raised his son to see wealth and power as the only measure of a man. Current Resident is the toxic cumulation of the soul-killing poison of the so-called American Dream – which grew out of the rampant capitalism of the Victorian age – the age of Robber Barons and little government oversight. That is the America to which Current Resident wishes to return, to a time before unions, before Teddy Roosevelt, before the existence of social structures such as community hospitals, fire-stations, impartial police force, legal protections for workers, &c.

I am shamed that so many Americans worship money and earthly power and think that this makes them blessed of God. I fear that we have failed the testing of temptation on a global level as a result of the lack of spiritual strength.

Happy Easter

My sister called me this morning to wish me a Happy Easter. Then she said “It’s just another day.”

But it isn’t. Easter isn’t about the big celebration at church. It’s not about new spring clothes or singing or Easter egg hunts with lots of chocolate and drinks and socializing.

That first Easter the disciples … the followers of Christ Jesus … were in hiding. They were sheltering in place, afraid to go out, afraid that they would be seized and put to death. They were not celebrating, they were not wearing fancy new outfits and enormous hats.

Three students of Christ’s ministry – women all – went to the place where his body had been laid, to prepare him for burial and they found him gone. They did not rejoice and start singing. They cried out in fear and ran away. An angel of God appeared to one of them, asking “Woman, why do you weep? He is not here.”

Peter didn’t believe the women and went to see for himself. Even then, they thought that the body had been taken by the Romans and hidden away. It wasn’t until later, when Jesus appeared to them, that they knew something had happened.

I believe that faith is individual and private. It’s not easy for me to write these meditation pieces … but they also help me understand what I feel inside so, I guess sometimes you have to do things that are difficult in order to understand yourself. Sorry … got off-track there.

Christ is risen inside me. The meditations of Lent left me empty and cleaned out and waiting to be filled. It is easier to feel the spirit when surrounded by people rejoicing. But sometimes, you have to do things that are difficult. (I guess it wasn’t off-track after all.)

Christ is risen. God is present inside each of us. Rejoice and be glad.

Lenten Meditation #16

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

For the past 3 decades, I have interpreted this to mean that as we treat others, so will God treat us. Or as Jesus said in another instance – “The measure with which you measure will be used to measure against you.”

If you are slighting and harsh in judging others, your own deeds will be judged harshly and your reasons slighted.

If you are generous and understanding, then your deeds will be judged generously and with understanding.

Lately, though, I have begun to wonder if, for some of us, we judge ourselves more harshly than we do others. William Shakespeare put words into the mouth of Marc Antony “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones” (Julius Caesar, Act 3, scene 2) That is how my mis-steps and mistakes haunt me. I don’t notice or remember the things I have done well at, the good that I have done – but oh … how my mistakes live on, until all I see and remember are the times I screwed up. The foolish things I’ve said, the stupid things I’ve done.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

This week, I am contemplating another meaning for this phrase in the Lord’s Prayer. One in which I am asking God to help ME forgive myself as I forgive others. This is not a new thought, I’ve brought it up before, but today it has a stronger resonance within me.

I had a dream in which I, my husband, and my son were were being judged by an alien energy being. My husband and son were judged as having worth. I was told I had no worth. And I spoke up, saying, “Sir. I have worth.” It repeated it’s judgement and I again refuted – trembling and afraid. Then it proclaimed that none of us had worth. There was a dream jump in which I do not know what happened but the next scene had the three of us sneaking out of our house, abandoning our past lives in order to live. (I think we disabled or destroyed the alien but I can’t really remember).

It’s a coronavirus dream, I know that – I’ve been having them regularly over the past few weeks – but what strikes me is that I stood up for myself and insisted that I have worth. That surprises me because … I tend to not value myself or my worthiness highly.

But I say to you – You have worth. I have worth. We are here to see the kingdom on earth; through our acts of love and mercy toward one another to bring the kingdom into fulfillment. Not a kingdom of flames and violence; of repression and commands – but a kingdom of love and understanding. I recommend to you to read 1 Corinthians 13 in it’s entirety, but I leave you with the last verse as a description of the kingdom of God.

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13: 13)

Lenten Meditation #15

“Whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is God.” Matt. 18:20

To be completely honest, I remember that particular form of the line from “The Wedding Song : There is Love”.

The point Jesus was making was that when people come together to do God’s will, by their own desire to be there, in the Spirit of love and creation and positive energy; God is present among them and within them and around them. Each individual person present is taking it as their individual responsibility to do God’s will.

They are not being forced to be loving or kind or helpful.

Sadly, when two or more are gathered in hatred and violence and division, God is not present, but His adversary is. Mob rule does not diminish personal responsibility. What a person does as part of a mob, that person is responsible for the action. That person is guilty and will be judged.

Fear creates mobs. Fear turns into anger; anger becomes hatred; hatred is the enemy of God and violence is the destruction of the kingdom.

A lot of people are afraid now. I’m afraid right now. Everytime I leave the house to go shopping for supplies, I wonder if this will be the day that I bring back the disease to my husband – who has “pre-existing conditions”. The shelves at the grocery store look empty, some of the things I have on my list are not available. This frightens me. I feel the temptation to buy more of the stuff that is there because it might not be there next week or the week after. Because many of my neighbours are clearing out the shelves to ameliorate their fear.

Some people are calling out for greater isolation, national isolation, isolating our country from the rest of the world. They throw up false equivalences about helping other countries when so many need help in this one. False equivalence because they also don’t want to help the people who need it in this country. Any money diverted from charity finds it way into private pockets of those who can buy the people in power.

These people say that charity begins at home, that we shouldn’t help foreign nations, shouldn’t help other people. They want to throw up walls, refuse to help, cut foreign aid, send “foreigners” back where they came from.

They are afraid and angry. Their fear and anger is leaving them open to the influence of the adversary. To temptation. To destruction.

This pandemic was not spread by poor immigrants. It was spread by indifference. Everyone assumed it was a “Chinese problem” and ignored the issue when it was small enough to deal with. IF the Western world had mobilized to help China. IF we had instituted quarantines on people traveling back from the infected areas … as Obama did when we had the Ebola scare … If we had been paying attention, preparing for the worst.

If we had acted like Christians instead of “good businessmen”.

“Whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is God.” Just make sure that it is God in whose name you gather.

Lenten Meditation #14

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12: 2

Historically, there were three (give or take one) writers of the letters of Paul. One was Saul of Tarshish who encountered a vision of Christ on the road to Damascus and was converted. The other two stole his identity in order to pervert the course of the nascent religion.

During the time of my life when I was interpreting the Mass for the deaf, I found a great respect and admiration for Saul of Tarshish. He was a flaming liberal – a Social Warrior for Justice. He supported women as religious leaders. He was against slavery, helping some to escape from their owners. He felt that Christ had come to all the world, not just the Jews.

This quote fits that free-thinking liberal who did so much to shape the course of the early church.

Too often, churches demand that members conform to their expectations. They give assurances that the church leaders will be responsible for the sanctity of the souls of the members, that what they do in the name of the church will not stain their immortal souls when they stand before God the Creator.

This is wrong. They are wrong.

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A Lenten Prayer

Here I am, Lord.

That’s it. Then sit (or kneel or stand) and listen. Listen with your ears. Listen with your mind. Listen with your eyes and your sense of touch and your sense of smell. Listen to the silence and hear what it says to you in the random stimuli that comes to you.


I feel overwhelmed by the events assailing us. Humbled. Angry. Afraid. I don’t want to beg for special favours because that’s not my perception of the Almighty. I know that I am doing what I should to help my neighbours and family and friends to weather this trial – but I do beg for strength for all of us. Mostly, though, I listen.