Thank you Rachel
Thank you Rachel
Source: themetapicture (Thank you Susan)
The email message arrived a few days ago. The sender and the location were all unidentifiable. Yet, the message was deeply personal. I read it in the silence of the early morning hours, both hands resting on top of the desk, my breath slowing as my eyes worked down the page.
“I’ve been following your blog since early 2013. After a series of your “life is a miracle” shares, I felt I needed to reach out. While our core beings are quite similar in that our hearts’ beat, our body temperatures hover in comparable ranges, and our bodies crave food and water, many of us depart from here in our day-to-day existences…
If I’m sitting and looking out from your perch, I would enjoy the view. Married, family, job. Fridge full of food. A warm house for shelter. Good health. A community of Followers and bloggers to banter with and share inspirations…
Kierkegaard would say that the yardstick for a human being is how long and to what degree he can bear to be alone. I continue to be tested by this yardstick. I’m quite alone. My effectiveness in bearing it? Let’s say it’s day-to-day, and I’m doing so without the benefit of your accoutrements. Yet, I find my peace, and I accept my position in this Life…swallowing hard on my down days.
Look around. I mean really look around and take stock of your life. All of this can change. It can change at any moment. And it can turn very badly. It did for me… Be grateful Now for your blessings as you have many.
[NO CLOSING SIGNATURE OR SALUATION]
Friend, if I can take the liberty of calling you that, you’ve left me Still and without many words, and I’m thankful for your message. Where ever you are and who ever you may be, on this Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., may you find nourishment, may you have shelter and warmth, and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Photograph Source: Murrskeez
What surprises me, in a way, is how almost universally people are trustworthy and good. There are problems, and sometimes people bicker, which is a pain in the ass, but people are good. No matter what your religious background, we share pretty much the same values. There are some minor differences that we disagree on, but the differences are at the 5 percent level. That’s pretty good.
“This is an uplifting story of one of those chance encounters that can radically change the course of someone’s life. Germain is a large and almost illiterate man in his fifties. He is unmarried and still lives with his mother with whom he has a fractious relationship. Margueritte is a tiny, elderly woman with a passion for the written word. There’s 40 years and 200 pounds’ difference between them and only one thing in common, a shared fondness for pigeons. When Germain happens to sit beside her on a park bench and Margueritte reads extracts from her novels to him, an unlikely and unexpected friendship develops. Under Margueritte’s tutelage, Germain discovers a love of literature and with it, a wisdom which confounds his friends at the bistro who have always treated him like an idiot. As Margueritte begins to lose her eyesight, Germain sees an opportunity to use his love for this sweet and mischievous grandma to improve both his own life and hers.”
Not always are love stories just made of love. Sometimes love is not named but it’s love just the same. This is not a typical love affair I met her on a bench in my local square. She made a little stir, tiny like a bird with her gentle feathers. She was surrounded by words, some as common as myself. She gave me books, two or three. Their pages have come alive for me. Don’t die now, you’ve still got time, just wait It’s not the hour, my little flower. Give me some more of you. More of the life in you.
If you have a passion for reading and books, you’ll enjoy this movie. A slow, gentle, feels-like-Disney-for-adults, fits-on-Sunday movie. French with English subtitles. Can be found on Amazon Instant Video for $2.99.
Source: Anatol Knotek, visual poet from Vienna, Austria
There are places in and around our great cities, where the natural world has all but disappeared. You can make out streets and sidewalks, autos, parking garages, advertising billboards, monuments of glass and steel. But not a tree, or a blade of grass or any animal, besides of course, the Humans. There are lot’s of Humans. Only when you look up straight up through the skyscraper canyons, can you make out a star or a patch of blue. Reminders of what was there long before humans came to be. It’s not hard going to work every day in such a place to be impressed with ourselves. How we’ve transformed the earth for our benefit and convenience. But a few hundred miles up or down, there are no humans, our impact on the universe is nil. In the last 10,000 years, an instant in our long history, we’ve abandoned the nomadic life. We’ve domesticated the plants and animals. Why chase the food, when you can make it come to you? For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. There are now people on every continent and the remotest islands. From pole to pole. From Mount Everest to the Dead Sea. On the ocean bottoms, and even, occasionally in residence two miles up. Humans, like the Gods of old, living in the sky. These days there seems no where left to explore. Victims of their very success, the explorers now, pretty much, stay home.
Here’s the “Meaning of Life.” ~9,000,000 people have watched this video in the past 2 weeks and seem to agree. I’m one of them. I was moved by this short film. (Be sure to check out Ana’s wonderful blog. She’s from Portugal. Her blog’s name is “Sol de Dezembro” (“December Sun”).
Source: Nick Miller
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day
she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character
he jumped into her hand
began to eat
a woman holding
a small god
~ Richard Vargas, why i feed the birds
It was curious to think
that the sky was the same for everyone.
The ground beneath their feet may be different
But the sky remains the same
The sun, the stars, and the people under the sky
were also very much the same
all over the word
hundreds or thousands or maybe millions of people
just like this…
wel·kin [wel-kin], n, the sky; the vault of heaven.
What’s with the mustache?
Have you ever shaved it off?
How long have you had it?
(Pause) It’s older than you are.
Why don’t you shave it off?
So. Why don’t you shave it off?
(Pause) It’s foliage.
(Silence) (I catch the stare. Then the flash of understanding, of empathy. The eyes avert. The awkward step backward to create space.)
I turn my back and walk away.
Image Source: Thank you Carol
“You are meant to fight. When you are sick, your body fights for its right to function. When you hold your breath, your body fights for its right to breathe. There are billions of tiny events—from the surface of your skin, down to the very cells of your body—that have to happen in order for you to be simply sitting here today. If your most minuscule parts haven’t given up yet,
Why should you?”
The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do.
Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
- Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out
When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs
I am compelled to conclude
That man is the superior animal.
When I consider the curious habits of man
I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.
— Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (1885 – 1972) was born in Hailey, Idaho and was an American expatriate poet. During his stay in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway. His political views ensure that his work remains controversial; in 1933 Time magazine called him “a cat that walks by himself, tenaciously unhousebroken and very unsafe for children.” Hemingway nevertheless wrote: “The best of Pound’s writing – and it is in the Cantos – will last as long as there is any literature.”
I resolved that at 30 I would know more about poetry than any man living, that I would know what was accounted poetry everywhere, what part of poetry was “indestructible,” what part could not be lost by translation and – scarcely less important – what effects were obtainable in one language only and were utterly incapable of being translated. In this search I learned more or less of nine foreign languages, I read Oriental stuff in translations, I fought every University regulation and every professor who tried to make me learn anything except this, or who bothered me with “requirements for degrees.”
This is a portrait of Katie Parks and Sarah Parks, identical Twins born in 2001. The photo was taken by Martin Schoeller.
“Long a source of fascination, twins have often been a theme of myth and legend. The founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus is one of the many instances that spring to mind. Even when separated at birth, identical twins can have uncannily similar tastes, habits, and life experiences. In this landmark photographic study, Martin Schoeller uses his distinctive close-up portrait style to examine sets of identical twins and multiples. In capturing every subtle aspect of their facial structure, myriad similarities and seemingly miniscule—yet significant—differences are revealed, leaving one to ponder how appearance and identity is defined as individuals.” (Source: Marina Abramović)
Don’t miss this video on the making of “Identical: The Portrait of Twins” Collection:
It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.
It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry. (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)
“Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years? And you still don’t know my name.”
“I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance. Damage done. Twice, in seconds.
Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
“I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”
Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “
Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…
“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.
The mind is buzzing.
Thoughts zipping around like skeeter bugs on the surface of a still pond.
Most leaving faint ripples in their wake.
Work. Weight. Weekend. Work. Work. Work.
But One lingers. And has lingered since yesterday morning.
I’m pulling out of the gas station.
The morning traffic is blocking the exit.
Nine cars pass.
A pick-up finally stops.
I can see the outline of his face.
He’s not smiling.
He doesn’t wave me in.
He just stops.
One small gesture.
And it stuck.
And that small gesture…
Led the mind to leapfrog to The greatest crime of all… [Read more…]
Be the noble curator of your excellence,
for fate made you perfect.
In all things, be precise:
standing, sitting, staring, walking, sniffing, eating, sleeping, killing.
Never look in mirrors, which are windows for the insecure.
Sleep in a variety of comfortable places,
which were created for you alone.
Make acquaintances, never friends.
The latter tend to cling.
All phenomena are potential enemies.
Therefore, stare, listen, listen, stare, sniff, stare, listen, sniff,
hide, stare, and listen.
Never perform tricks.
Leave those to dogs, who need to be wanted and want to be liked.
Talk as necessary, but never just to chit-chat.
Crack the whip of feline fury as you wish.
Keep the blades of your four feet sharp and retracted like long-held resentments.
Let your soul’s motor idle and strum the taut cord of your body. No one owns you.
God made you and likes you best.
In a world that’s dubious, you are certain.
You never make mistakes.
You are entitled to what you want; otherwise, why would you want it?
No matter what else you may be undertaking,
never be reticent to stop and groom yourself,
for you are superb, and self-maintenance doubles as self-admiration.
You are a cat,
a form of beauty that enters stealthily, naps, and agrees to be admired.
You are a cat.
Everything is as it should be.
~ Hans Ostrom, How To Be A Cat
Poem Source: Thank you Dan @ Your Eyes Blaze Out.
Happy clip. Great foot-tapping music by James Wallace and the Naked.
“We often pass by others, forgetting that all the people we interact with are just like us…human. In Turkey, we tried to take an extra moment to “see” the people that make up this wonderful country.”
3 Minutes to start your day on the right foot.
Credits: Funding for the video provided by intrepidtravel.com/turkey.
I’m walking down 51st Street to catch the 6:22 train home.
A migraine has been throbbing since 11 am.
It’s progressively clawing at my attention.
And sawing at my patience.
3:30 am insomnia?
This diet is going to kill me.
I find an open seat.
I grab my ticket from my bag.
And set my coat and bag overhead.
I slump into the window seat and rest my head against the window.
I close my eyes.
Give me 10 minutes. Please. Just 10. And, let this pain evaporate.
The train pulls out of Grand Central.
I drift away with the clickety clack of the train.
I awake to the conductor calling for tickets.
I hand my ticket to her.
She smiles, and hands it back.
She tells me she’ll be back and moves on to the other passengers.
I look down. It’s the receipt instead of the ticket.
Flustered. I apologize to my seatmate.
I stand up to reach for my bag.
I open the zipper to get at my wallet. [Read more…]
“Roshi once told us that there were three different kinds of horses: with one, just a tug at the reins made them start moving; the second, a kick in the flanks and they were off; and then there were those that had to be beaten to the bone with a whip before they started to move. “Unfortunately,” he said, “most human beings are the third kind.” He told us we act as though we were going to live forever. “Wake up,” he said.
~ Natalie Goldberg
sonder – n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
Epictetus (AD 55–135) was a Greek sage and philosopher. He was born a slave in present day Turkey, and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. Philosophy, Epictetus taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control; we should accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering occurs from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, it is our duty to care for all our fellow men. Those who follow these precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind. (Source: Wiki)
I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this. Yes I do.
Fall asleep wondering if this is the solve. (Please.)
Amygdala firing up on ailment. (See.)
Doc said there may be issues later in life because of trauma. (Has it arrived?)
One month of angst. (Eradicated. With three drops.)
One could ask why did you wait so long. (Or, one could avoid asking.)
And one wouldn’t have a good answer.
* Disclosure: Turn your eyelids inside out? Heresy. Wear contacts? Nothing touches my eyes. LASIK surgery to correct nearsightedness? Don’t come near me with your surgery solution. Apply your own eyedrops? Can’t do it. Keep eye open so drops can be applied for you? Impossible. Squeal like a baby when drop splashes on eye? Absolutely.
Image Source: LetsBeConnor
This short ~3 minute clip is a portrait of a modern Inuit family set in North Greenland. Beautiful cinematography, music and script. Good Sunday morning…
“I wanted to pass this story along about the Red Cross. I will donate to them after seeing them in action. They have been blanketing my neighborhood since the storm. We have a truck that passes by each evening. The two workers are from Mississippi and New Orleans. Now that is dedication driving to the east coast to feed somewhat affluent people sandwiches, juice boxes and occasional specials. They knew of my son’s allergies and had a meal for him as I got out of my car. I don’t need the hand out, but my dinner plan was to reheat leftover pizza on the stove. We accepted the food and they were happy and we were happy. My parents accepted fresh pears. Food was nourishing. It was good. Message is anyone can help anyone at any time. We should all be ready to help and accept help when we need it. We should all think about donations to the Red Cross. They help people in distress when people need it most.”
Rob, thanks for the inspiration. I’m giving to Red Cross today.
Shot in Alberta. Paired with the song “Roam” which is performed by Wil Mimnaugh. Here’s more of Canada’s breathtaking beauty and its people.
My heart swells watching this…
Good Sunday morning.
Close your eyes and see
Fields that chase the breeze
Your eyes up to the trees
Have your ever seen
The sun jumping into a stream
It’s really something to see
Up into the peaks … of snow
The sky that you can reach
Clouds that look to breathe
Rolling along with the creek
It’s really something to see
She’s really something to me
Open up your eyes
Know that we can fly
Float into the sky
Along the tops of the trees
Our shadows dance on the seas
Remember to breathe
She’s really something to me
Thank you Lorne for sharing.
“A very long time ago, there were no groves because everywhere was a grove with no roads to bisect and no people to erect stones and fences and bridges. The trees were very, very young and had much living ahead of them. The enormity of their lifespan loomed in wooly mists around them, so they stretched out their root fingers and wrapped them around each others’, intertwining and holding very tight. The ferns found pockets of root fingers where they could nestle in and the moss stretched itself out over the soil and everything became very soft. The trees grew and made patterns of light and dark on the ground and the vines swirled in to trace the patterns. Spotted spiders moved back and forth and up and down, making nets to catch the mist, and the mist would linger on the nets in drops that cupped the light. It was very quiet all the time because the trees needed to focus on their lives. It is not easy to grow so much, for so long. Some trees became tired and lay down on the soft ground; others leaned and rested their tops on another. Growing is forever, they whispered, and when one tree had to stop, another would grow out of it and reach very high into the grey and gold sky. The trees rested and waited to the mist to come and cool them. They were very large, but still not very old, and had much more growing to do.” ~ Kallie Markle
Good Sunday morning.
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
If I could snap my fingers and instantly land somewhere on this planet this morning, Kaua’i would certainly be on my short list.
Good Sunday morning.
Love this…hypnotized by it…but not sure that I fully grasped the story line. Van Gogh and his illnesses have been on my mind from posts earlier in the week. (9/21-a and 9/21-b). All interpretations welcome.
Good Sunday morning.
Agustin is from Siguatepeque, Honduras. He was born “lame with his right leg shorter than his left.” He was later struck with polio leaving him severely disabled from the legs down. He dreamed of being a pilot but because of his disability, he couldn’t fly. He turned his energy to building his own helicopter largely from parts found at the trash dumps. He started building in 1958. He is still pursuing his dream today more than one-half a century later with his helicopter still under construction.
His Minister: “I don’t know what he’s paying for his helicopter in the ultimate sense. I think he’s paid a lot for that helicopter. I think he’s paid an awful lot. You might say what has he gotten out of it? I don’t know. Maybe its kept him alive. Maybe its been able to conquer loneliness. Maybe its been able to conquer poverty.”
Agustin later in the story explains: “The problem is that everything is incredible and people just don’t accept it.”
This video is beautiful. Sad. Touching. And inspiring.
And, yes, Agustin, we are blessed. And everything is incredible. And often times we take it for granted.
Good Sunday morning.
“At 68, Rob Elliot has guided 200+ trips on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado river in Arizona.”
How do you want to be remembered, when this life joins the wind?
What did you leave, in these chasms, upon these lives, young & curious?
What did you write? What dust in the rain, sand in the rivers?
Those you touched, embraced and kissed, loved… what echoes there?
How will it travel, your wisdom, your story, your suffering and joy?
These walls, silent, deafening, ancient and new.
What did you make them, what did they make of you?
A life running, teaching or learning, what is escape?
What did you find?
Wind, replenishing rain, sun.
Who did these thorns see?
What did these waters wash from you?
The stars, in the abyss beyond, how did they shine, on you?
Will you release the storm, the scars, whirling as they go, yet holding love, life?
The luminous child, the harsh knowing of age, what did you leave behind?
Good Sunday Morning…
This about nails it…
The beauty of management is that you get to ride the highs and ride the lows of humanity each day – – and sometimes within the hour. I had recently experienced one of those deep disappointing lows. And, I needed to remind myself this morning about why I love what I do.
I was speaking to a group of interns a short time ago and they asked me what makes a great leader. Not an unusual question coming from aspiring young professionals looking for the secret sauce – the 10 quick steps to the top.
I shared the usual profile characteristics: Engage. Truth (speak it). Serve. Inspire. Learn. Recognize. Humble (be). Admit mistakes. Lead. WORK.
Yet, I told them it is so much bigger than this.
Whether you love, hate or are indifferent about fly fishing, I’ll bet this clip takes your pulse up and then quickly down to a calm, peaceful state in less than two minutes…
Vimeo’s 2012 GRAND PRIZE Award Winner. One word: Deserving.
Beautiful. Mesmerizing on the way to hypnotic. Calming with a soothing cadence. And, Spiritual for believers and non-believers.
Yes. I loved this.
Good Sunday Morning…
“Every living thing is, from the cosmic perspective, incredibly lucky simply to be alive. Most, 90 percent and more, of all the organisms that have ever lived have died without viable offspring, but not a single one of your ancestors, going back to the dawn of life on Earth, suffered that normal misfortune. You spring from an unbroken line of winners going back millions of generations, and those winners were, in every generation, the luckiest of the lucky, one out of a thousand or even a million. So however unlucky you may be on some occasion today, your presence on the planet testifies to the role luck has played in your past.”
~ Philosopher and cognitive scientist Dan Dennett
"You find yourself by losing yourself. By not thinking about yourself all of the time. When I am in a slump with my writing, I’ll go and walk for a week. Walk and not see a human being. Something happens after four or five days which is quite wonderful. It is an ancient thing. Your sense of smell. Your hearing. They come back."