Ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection

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[…] Most people feel grateful some of the time — after someone saves you from a mistake or brings you food during an illness. But some people seem grateful dispositionally. They seem thankful practically all of the time.  These people may have big ambitions, but they have preserved small anticipations. As most people get on in life and earn more status, they often get used to more respect and nicer treatment. But people with dispositional gratitude take nothing for granted. They take a beginner’s thrill at a word of praise, at another’s good performance or at each sunny day. These people are present-minded and hyper responsive. This kind of dispositional gratitude is worth dissecting because it induces a mentality that stands in counterbalance to the mainstream threads of our culture.[…]

Gratitude is also a form of social glue. In the capitalist economy, debt is to be repaid to the lender. But a debt of gratitude is repaid forward, to another person who also doesn’t deserve it. In this way each gift ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection. It reminds us that a society isn’t just a contract based on mutual benefit, but an organic connection based on natural sympathy — connections that are nurtured not by self-interest but by loyalty and service.

We live in a capitalist meritocracy. This meritocracy encourages people to be self-sufficient — masters of their own fate. But people with dispositional gratitude are hyperaware of their continual dependence on others. They treasure the way they have been fashioned by parents, friends and ancestors who were in some ways their superiors. They’re glad the ideal of individual autonomy is an illusion because if they were relying on themselves they’d be much worse off. […]

If you think that human nature is good and powerful, then you go around frustrated because the perfect society has not yet been achieved. But if you go through life believing that our reason is not that great, our individual skills are not that impressive, and our goodness is severely mottled, then you’re sort of amazed life has managed to be as sweet as it is. […]

~ David Brooks, The Structure of Gratitude


Photo Source: mennyfox55

Lightly child, lightly

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Knot by knot I untie myself from the past
And let it rise away from me like a balloon.
What a small thing it becomes.
What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue.

– Charles Wright, from “Arkansas Traveller” in The Other Side of the River


Credits:

  • Image Source: Michael Surtees (Looking forward from Empire State Building)
  • Poem Source: Lit Verve
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

It never happens like that

Heidi-Julavits
What I failed to mention, however, was my recent worry: As a writer, I have mistaken how to use words. I write too much. I write like some people talk to fill silence. When I write, I am trying through the movement of my fingers to reach my head. I’m trying to build a word ladder up to my brain. Eventually these words, help me come to an idea, and then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite what I’d already written (when I had no idea what I was writing about) until the path of thinking, in retrospect, feels immediate. What’s on the page appears to have busted out of my head and traveled down my arms and through my fingers and my keyboard and coalesced on the screen. But it didn’t happen like that; it never happens like that.

~ Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock: A Diary


Notes: Author Bio: Heidi Julavits.  Photo: Bustle.com

Miracle? All of it. 

hair-breeze-wind-red

I hear the wind blow,
And I feel that it was worth being born
just to hear the wind blow.

~ Fernando Pessoa, from “Uncollected Poems


Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”


Notes: Poem excerpt: Your Eyes Blaze Out. Photo: Ines Perkovic (via Simplicidade do Ceu)

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

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Caleb heading to Taj Mahal this morning.


Notes:

Driving I-95 S. Playing Catch-Up.

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5:25 am. Yesterday. Any day.

I-95 S.

Left hand at 11 o’clock.

Finger tips on right, spinning dial. Playing Russian Roulette with one of 4,378 tunes. DK is Living large. Letting it land where it may.

Left foot tapping. Tapping. TappingLet’s go Man. Let’s go. I’m tailing a black limousine in the left lane doing fifty. A yellow light glows in the back seat. A Suit reads the morning paper.

I re-grip the steering wheel – swing right, accelerate, and swing sharply left. Lynyrd Skynyrd…’Cause I’m as free as a bird now…

The limo is back in my rear view mirror.  I drift into a collage of Vine clips, stitched together with snippets of blog posts, movies, books (6 in flight) and highlights from my binge watching of Netflix. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. You are gulping them down. Gasping for air. Faster and faster.  And then the Nimbostratus. Katrina Kenison, on her Magical Journey, An Apprenticeship in Contentment: “Thirty, forty, fifty – how could three quarters of my life by over? Where did it go?
[Read more…]

4:00 AM. I don’t understand this.

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Read more: psych2go.me

It’s been a long day

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Then the heart glows.
It’s all I need.
I say,
“I don’t know why I, of all people,
did not know that the small gesture is huge.”
There is not so much I have to do.
Access to the core of being
is in the smallest gesture –
the sitting down,
the breath.

~ John J. Pendergast, In Touch: How to Tune in to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself


Sources: Photo: M. Klasan (via Sweet Senderipity). Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique

 

 

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

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Source: mennyfox55

 

What else is there? What else do we need?

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I am pleased enough with surfaces — in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind — what else is there? What else do we need?

~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Source: Thank you Whiskey River