Better to be dusty than polished

woman,face,hands,neck

We get a little further from perfection,
each year on the road,
I guess that’s what they call character,
I guess that’s just the way it goes,
better to be dusty than polished,
like some store window mannequin,
why don’t you touch me where i’m rusty,
let me stain your hands.

Ani DiFranco

 


Photograph: Eric Rose. Poem: Fables of the Reconstruction. Ani DiFranco Bio: Wiki

Where do my days go?

frankenweenie


And, January, 2014 is over next week.


Image Source: TheTimBurtonWorld

You’re not defective. Neither is your shovel. Grab it, and dig in.

Giulia-Muraglia7

“What are we supposed to be looking for?” Stanley asked him.
“You’re not looking for anything.
You’re digging to build character”…
[Stanley] glanced helplessly at his shovel. It wasn’t defective. 
He was defective.

— Louis Sachar, Holes


So, is it “A” or is it “B”?

WOULD CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DESCRIBED THIS WAY?

successful-unsuccessful-chart

OR THIS WAY? (See below)

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Grab your keys and go

key chains, key,inspiration


Thank you SwissMiss via Three Potato Four

Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

Anton-Chekhov

It was 127 years ago.  Chekhov was 26 years old when he wrote a letter to his 28-year old brother outlining the eight qualities that must be satisfied for people to be cultured.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov  (1860-1904) was a Russian physician and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history.  He practiced as a doctor throughout most of his literary career stating: ‘Medicine is my lawful wife.  And, literature is my mistress.'”

A excellent post by Brain Pickings shares excerpts from Chekhov’s letter to his brother.  The post is worth reading in its entirety.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:

1) They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others…

2) They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone…They sit up at night in order to help to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother. [Read more...]

I can only muster thoughts for one

woman-potrait-black and white

‎“I talk about love, forgiveness, social justice; I rage against American materialism in the name of altruism, but have I even controlled my own heart? The overwhelming majority of time I spend thinking about myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself, and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the needy. Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me.”

~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz


Image: kellensblog via thegiftsoflife. Quote: middlenameconfused

Related Posts:

Go without a coat; find out what cold is.

black and white, portrait, photograph, model, woman, face

‎Go without a coat; find out what cold is. Go hungry; keep your existence lean. Wear away the fat, get down to the lean tissue and see what it’s all about. The only time you define your character is when you go without. In times of hardship, you find out what you’re made of and what you’re capable of. If you’re never tested, you’ll never define your character.

~ Henry Rollins


Image: holyholychic via thegiftsoflife

Hard to discern where his talent ends and his work ethic begins…

Andy Roddick is retiring this season after being “the face of men’s tennis in the U.S. for more than a decade.”  What wasn’t obvious to me until reading this article from the NY Times, was the depth of his character, his integrity and his drive.  With so many bad actors in professional sports, this story was inspiring.  Here’s a few excerpts:

“He’s a study in contradictions: a born entertainer who doesn’t like to leave home; a team player in an individual sport; a deep feeler who is quick to give you a piece of his mind or the shirt off his back; a lunch-pail prodigy.”

“He was precocious, yes, but his defining characteristic has been his persistence. Roddick never had the luxury of coasting, of taking his gifts for granted. How else but through grit and guts does a player with a balky backhand and a butcher’s touch at the net finish in the top 10 in the world for eight consecutive years?”

“Roddick’s serve is such a blur, people have a hard time discerning where his talent ends and his work ethic begins. He’s a classic overachiever who was cast as the suave leading man of American men’s tennis, a role that, true to his nature, he worked earnestly and endlessly to wholly inhabit.” [Read more...]

Blue Nights…

Joan Didion - By Alisonperry.netEarlier this month, I shared a post on Joan Didion’s essays titled “One runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.”  One of my new blogger friends, Lori @ Donna & Diablo, mentioned in her response to my post that she planned to see Didion and was more excited about meeting her after reading the excerpts.  I asked Lori if she wouldn’t mind sharing her thoughts about the meeting in a Guest Post.  (I had never met a writer/author so I was looking to live the meeting-the-famous-author-moment vicariously through Lori’s post.) She graciously agreed.  Lori also also mentioned that she didn’t know if it was good enough to post.  I’ll let you make up your own minds.  (Note to Me: If I could BANG LIKE on my own blog and keep BANG, BANG, BANGING LIKE, I would do so now…).  Here’s Lori from Donna & Diablo on her meeting with Joan Didion…ENJOY!

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One runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home…

Back in 2005, I read Joan Didion’s book “The Year of Magical Thinking” after hearing much acclaim for the author and the book.  I was underwhelmed and said so in my Amazon Review at the time.  Yet, it rankled me that so many others were on the other side. (Why? Perhaps, I just missed what was readily understood by the intellectuals.  Maybe you just didn’t get it Pal.)

emilydaisypage - Self PortraitSo, more than 7 years later – I trip across a post at Brainpickings.org on Joan Didion’s 1968 collection of essays in Slouching Towards Bethlehem.  My head immediately snaps to attention.

Oh what delicious irony…the excerpts are “On Self-Respect.”  (Excerpts on ‘On Self-Respect.’ Deepak Sharma would say ‘Nothing is a Coincidence.’)

The post left me shaking my head.  (Sweet Jesus.  I did miss something.  Apparently I missed everything.)

On to the excerpts…

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