Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

There are so many people who’ve come before us,
arrows and wagon wheels, obsidian tools, buffalo.
Look out at the meadow, you can almost see them,
generations dissolved in the bluegrass and hay.
I want to try and be terrific.
Even for an hour.

~ Ada Limón, “During the Impossible Age of Everything,” from Bright Dead Things


Lightly Child, Lightly


People are not, for example, terribly anxious to be equal (equal, after all, to what and to whom?) but they love the idea of being superior. And this human truth has an especially grinding force here, where identity is almost impossible to achieve and people are perpetually attempting to find their feet on the shifting sands of status.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time.

  • Photo: Dennis Wehrmann via Banshy
  • 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.”

For years we grasp and grasp


In the baby’s fist is the first thing he owns, a little ball of air, but soon he tires of this and grabs another, then another after that. So early in life we learn about more, and having more. In more it seems we have eternity, and for years we grasp and grasp, until one day we find that we have less. And then life goes and goes, it floats away, and at the end we find our hand is empty, but for one small ball of air.

~ Ted Kooser, The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book

Photograph: John Mueller

SMWI*: Soar

Stick with this short film until the end. If you are having a difficult time getting motivated this morning, think of Dave Jacka.

“I was this 20 year old guy…it was like any other day…one night I went out on my motor bike and I took a corner too fast and too late…head first into the tree…next thing I knew I was lying beside the bike, and I couldn’t move and I couldn’t breathe, and I felt as if i was suffocating…I was 6’ 3” and bulletproof and I could do anything physically…It suddenly dawned on me I couldn’t do anything…I have 6% of my physical body working. I can’t move anything from my armpits down…and suddenly my mom, dad and my sisters have to put me to bed at night. If I had one wish, I just wished I could get myself out of this chair…and have a fraction of independence…”

Be sure to watch the rest of the story.

*SMWI = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration

Gray Hair and Silver Linings

long grey hair, woman

70 is the new 60.
60 is the new 50.
50 is the new 40.


These two NY Times Op-Ed pieces are beautifully written where ever you land with your math. I’ve chosen 2 excerpts. Be sure to click through to the full stories.

Frank Bruni turns 50 and writes Gray Hair and Silver Linings:

[…] There’s a point at which you have to accept that certain hopes and dreams won’t be realized, and 50 sure feels like it. I mean the lost margin for error. When you’re in your 20s and even your 30s, you can waste months, squander love, say yes to all the wrong things and no to all the right ones. And you can still recover, because there are many more months and loves and crossroads to come. The mistakes of youth are an education. The mistakes later on are just a shame. And I mean the lost people most of all: the ones from whom you’re separated by unmovable circumstances; the ones who’ve died. By 50 you start to see the pace of these disappearances accelerating. It’s haunting, and even harrowing. But there’s something else that you start to notice, something that muffles all of that, a muscle that grows stronger, not weaker. More than before, you’re able to find the good in the bad. You start to master perspective, realizing that with a shift in it — an adjustment of attitude, a reorientation of expectations — what’s bothersome can evaporate and what only seems to be urgent really isn’t…

Emily Fox Gordon, 66, with The Meaning of Fulfillment:

AT 66, I find myself feeling fulfilled. I didn’t expect this, and don’t know quite what to make of it…Fulfillment is a dubious gift because you receive it only when you’re approaching the end. You can’t consider your life fulfilled until you’re fairly sure of its temporal shape, and you can’t get a view of that until you’re well past its midpoint  […]  At any rate, by now I’ve racked up enough achievements that I feel I can stop trying. Paradoxically, of course, I find I don’t want to stop. Now that not much is at stake, I’m more ambitious than ever, or at least more conscious of my ambition. Liberated from an anxiety I’ve struggled to suppress, I feel a new energy. What is fulfillment made of? Mostly relief…

Image Source: imgarcade

Then — with a thunderous roar replied…


The Gods called your name
and the seas turned dark;
the earth quaked with power.

You looked up at Olympus
screaming at the gates;
“What will I become?”

The Gods fell silent, then-
with a thunderous roar replied;
“Who are you now?”

— Achilles

Credits: Poem via Mirroir.  Photograph: Lightning Storm in Corfu, Greece. Thank you Cristi. (With Greek Mythology, you need to bring a fantastic photo from Greece!)


Monday Mantra


Source: Justlyrics (from “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Mary Lambert)

Some days…


Some days one needs to hide from possibility.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry

Notes: Photograph via YourEyesBlazeOut

And if 2 isn’t enough, double down


And here’s links to 3 more excerpts from Sam Harris’ new book that hit nerve endings:

  • Our needs and desires seem to multiply by the hour.” Connect here.
  • Our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on.” Connect here.
  • Just keep your foot on the gas until you run out of road.” Connect here.

Photograph Source: YourEyesBlazeOut via Taffynikte



Monday Mantra


why so much effort
for such little gain?

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry


Credits: Image: wikimedia. Poem: Thank you Steve Layman for pointing me to Braided Creek.