R. Dass: “Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
6:31 am. September 6, 2014.
76° F. Humid.
He’s wearing black shorts, above the knee.
He has two bands on his left wrist. Both black. A Garmin GPS, tracking time and distance. A Vivo Fit, another Garmin tool, tracking his step count. His head bobs, no, it tics, checking progress on his devices every 30-40 seconds.
His shirt is canary yellow, sleeveless. The sweat stains are darkening his shirt, spilled black ink creeping down his chest.
His running shoes are off-the-shelf new, with hyper-green florescent laces, tied with symmetrical bows on each foot.
His head is down but for the presence of oncoming traffic, when he’ll steal a look up, and offer a wave to the driver who gives him wide berth.
He’s heavy footed. Solemn. A hulking, Dutch plow horse, blinders blocking out peripheral vision. The furrows behind him, turned and plowed over and under and over again. [Read more...]
Crickets. Birds. And me.
Humidity 90%, but cut by a cool morning, 57º. Running weather.
I check my exercise log. Last running entry: August 3rd. I scan the page. More white space than entries. Ray is down 36 lbs in 7 weeks. I’m, well, you know, Up. And, staring at white spaces.
I’m out the door.
It’s Thursday. Evening.
(Another) last supper with the kids before they depart. It’s a short week, I’m off from work on Friday. Heaviness lifts. Weariness lingers. Gratitude drifts in. A peaceful, easy feeling sets in over dinner. Family. Our family dines together.
It’s Friday. Morning.
Eric comes up to the attic. “Why are you a hermit, Dad?”
We exchange fist bumps. As he turns, I jump him from behind and we wrestle. He’s become unmanageable. I pull up before things break, on me.
It’s Friday. Early afternoon.
We’re in the car to JFK.
President Obama visits Weschester County on Friday afternoon – the same Friday kicking off the long Labor Day weekend. His security team has shut down I-95, 287 and all major thorough ways, snarling traffic. The result: A 2.5 hour drive to JFK. Purpose of the President’s trip: Fundraisers. [Read more...]
Notes: SMWI*=Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration. Image Source: gifak.net
A whole lot of us go through life assuming that we are basically right, basically all the time, about basically everything: about our political and intellectual convictions, our religious and moral beliefs, our assessment of other people, our memories, our grasp of facts. As absurd as it sounds when we stop to think about it, our steady state seems to be one of unconsciously assuming that we are very close to omniscient.
- Kathryn Schulz, Being Wrong
- Image: kdc123.
- Quote Source: Thank you WhiskeyRiver.
- Find her book here: Being Wrong.
- Find book review of Being Wrong here: To Err Is Human. And How! And Why.
- Find her bio on wiki here: Kathryn Schulz.
Steps for Longevity: A recent study has found that running for just five minutes a day, even at a slow pace, has similar health benefits to running for longer periods.
Notes: SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Image Source: gifak
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
~ Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
↓ click for audio (“Ruth and Sylvie” by Daniel Hart)
As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)
— Mahmoud Darwish, “Think of Others”
Unless we learn to let experience play upon our inner lives as on a finely tuned instrument, we will try to manufacture inner intensity from the outside, we will bang our very bones to roust our own souls. We crave radical ruptures when we have allowed the nerves of our inner lives to go numb. But after those ruptures— the excitement or the tragedy, the pleasure or the pain— the mind returns to what it was, the soul quicksilvers off from the pierce of experience, and the kingdom of boredom…begins the clock-tick toward its next collapse.
~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer
We go to bed tonight with another family losing their child and their loved ones in this horrific rampage of violence.
- June 10. Portland OR: One high school student killed.
- June 8. Las Vegas, NV: Two police officers and one civilian killed by “Patriots” at a WalMart.
- June 7/8. Chicago, IL: 4 dead. 30 shot in a weekend shooting spree.
- June 6th. Forsyth County, GA: Assault on county courthouse. 1 deputy shot.
- June 5th. Seattle Pacific University: 1 student shot dead. 3 wounded.
- May 23rd. IIsla Vista, California: 6 shot dead at U of Calfornia Santa Barbara. 7 more hospitalized.
- Dec 2012. Newtown, CT. 20 children and 6 adults fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There have been 74 school shootings since Dec 2012, roughly 1 every week
And after averting my eyes from the evening news, I turned to reading a few pages from Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss” seeking some solace. And he about captures it…the devastation is reaching close, so close to our very streets: [Read more...]
We’re all sinking in the same boat here.
Tired of thinking about it.
Tired of writing about it.
Tired of reading it.
A business lunch on Thursday.
I drop my head and listen to the conversation.
I close my eyes.
And savor each one.
Chocolate chips melting…coating my tongue.
7, not a typo, 7 chocolate chip cookies in less than 15 minutes.
A sugar addiction.
Deficiency of something.
Deficit of Discipline.
Tired of stepping on scale the next morning and expecting a miracle.
Definition of insanity…
Tired of waking up with 4 hours of sleep.
With eyes burning.
Burning and watering at 6am before the sun rises.
And by 2pm, earning a full fledged membership in The Walking Dead.
Short of patience.
Hungry for flesh and blood.
“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?”
This beautiful short film is set in southern Argentina and is paired with Bon Iver’s “Michicant.” This Sunday morning selection was inspired by a poem from Plums & Berries:
before the sun rose
i happened to see
carve a silhouette
against a waking sky.
Good Sunday Morning.
Olympics? Sportsmanship? Right here.
This much is irrefutable: How you direct your gaze, where you place your energy and your conviction, how you tune your perception and with what integrity and attitude you offer yourself to the world means, well, everything. Why can’t this basic truth be broadened out to humanity as a whole?…
Maybe that’s a little much. Maybe it’s better to test it all out yourself, every day, on micro scale, to feel into what you really believe, what you know to be true at core level, versus what you’ve been fed, and by whom, and for what spurious purpose…
Who the hell told you you’re broken? Who told you you’re an addict, a loser, a Type-A, a manic depressive? Who said you’re too weak to quit smoking, to start exercising, to eat better, to find love or to quit being an overbearing jerk with zero redeeming qualities? Who told you humanity must operate a certain way? Who told you you’re full of trauma and rage? Who dared tell you you’re not already God? You really believe that? Good lord, why?
~ Mark Morford, Believe this and live forever
Source: themetapicture (From the Movie: A Few Good Men)
20 cancer patients participated in a unique makeover experience. They were invited to a studio. Their hair and makeup were completely redone. Here’s the outcome.
Žydrūnas Savickas, 38, is a Lithuanian powerlifter and professional strongman. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest strongman competitors of all time. He is the only modern strongman competitor to have won every major strongman competition, most notably the World’s Strongest Man in 2009, 2010, & 2012. He is 6 ft 3 in tall and competes at 385 lb. Savickas is often referred to by his nickname, “Big Z”. (Source: Wiki)
This month, Savickas broke the Guinness world record for the most cars pulled by one man when he hauled 12 Nissan Cars (28,530 pounds) for five meters in Druskininkai, Lithuania. See video here.
What is your diet like during heavy training?
I eat about 6,000 calories a day, plus I drink four or five litres of water and three protein shakes with milk or water. I eat four times a day, mainly cottage cheese, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, rice, potatoes, vegetables and fruit juices. My favourite food is Steak and Potatoes. I monitor my body weight. If I just need power for a competition then I eat fried food. But if I also need speed or endurance, such as in the World’s Strongest Man competition, I eat more healthily. I’m very careful with alcohol: I have a glass of white wine perhaps two or three times a year. (Source: Men’s Fitness)
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Neil Hilborn, a poet with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), performs at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin.
“The first time I saw her everything in my head went quiet. All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared. When you have obsessive compulsive disorder you don’t really get quiet moments… When I saw her, the only thing I could think about was hairpin curve of her lips or the eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek.”
The tortured soul lives alone.
90-year Ed Bray served in WW II and served in Normandy.
He’s covered this up for 80 years.
Join me in being inspired by Mr. Bray. I was moved…
Deep in the belly of these vermillion walls
Our minds open to adventure and experience.
We squint to the back of our lenses
And down to the tips of our fly lines
Crossing paths and coming together to tell a story.
This place is home to the blood of this land.
An emerald green water full of life, and full of hope.
She’s had a long journey.
Thousands of miles she’s travelled.
Veining her way through rock and crevice.
Rugged and raw to bless us with her fertile waters.
A place painted by Gods and carved by time.
A mighty river and a mighty canyon in the land of the Navajo.
Her currents meander over stone and sand
In a rhythm uniquely her own
Her color unlike anything else
Her glimmer, mesmerizing.
She has a heartbeat.
She dances with the winds and the grass.
She dances with life and we’ve come for what’s beneath it all.
In this box of trickery,
a shimmer of gold.
A subtle twist of thread and wire.
The trout we seek are strong and smart.
A worthy test of our skills.
Our tactics and presentations must be perfect.
The throw of our line must gently lay on the waters’ currents.
This is what we’ve come for, and what we live for.
Our search for the perfect riffle.
The rise of a hungry trout.
Friendships and memories.
This is an unforgettable place,
Where the earth and the heavens come together.
There is life, warmth and beauty everywhere up here.
360 degrees of pure magic.
Around every turn our lens capture the light and the dark of it all.
A Father and Son.
A lone fisherman.
The love for nature and art.
And blurring the lines in between.
We now see life, light and shadow
in a different way than we did before.
And we walk away
without leaving a trace of our modern trappings.
While this gold piece of the natural world
has left an indelible mark
on our all of spirits.
“At five, I had the intuitive, instinctive faith that my cosmos, my family and the world were good and true and beautiful. That somehow I had always been and always would be. And I knew in a way of a five-year-old that I had worth and dignity and individuality. Later, when I read Nietzsche’s statement that these are not given to us by nature but are tasks that we must somehow solve, I knew him to be wrong. We all had them once.”
~ George Sheehan, Running & Being
- Related Posts: George Sheehan bio and quote – Uneasiness. Inquietude. There is work to be done.
- Image Source. Thank you Mme Scherzo
I peek at the weather app before I step outside.
“34° F. Feels like 26° F. Partly Cloudy.”
Winter closing in.
I yank my Tuque over my ears.
I glance at the mirror.
The Black Avenger: Back for an encore.
Black Tuque. Black jacket. Black pants.
And Red Shoes.
I cue up my David Gray playlist.
Open the door.
And head to the street.
How often does it happen?
Just the right song cycles up.
65 David Gray songs resting.
Waiting for their turn.
And it pops up.
A bubbling geyser.
It starts slowly.
Starting from way down deep.
And surging upward.
No chemical inducements.
↓ click for audio (David Gray: “Everytime”)
Down from the doorway
And into the street
I hear the morning bell
Over and over the pattern repeat
I hear the morning bell
And all the faces cold as stone
In the January chill…
~ David Gray, Everytime [Read more...]
Susan @ Licht Years kicks us off with her pumpkin photograph above. Check out more inspiring shots of Autumn in a post she has titled Orange Crush.
MJ @ emjayandthem with her post titled Beautiful People: “Traveling this week for business, I found myself tossed into a sea of humanity. Rolling suitcases. iPhones & ear buds. Cell conversations continuing as doors are closed. Electricity charging areas in airport waiting rooms. Subtle manners not consistently displayed. Standing in line, I noticed something consistent in every airport I waited: no one looked at each other, everyone looked down …thumbs moving. All this technology connects us yet people seem more isolated than ever. ~sigh~ And then there she was…” Read more at this link. And if you liked this post, don’t miss MJ’s post titled “Like That.“
Bonnie @ Pagekeeper with her post titled: You listen, is what you do: “What do you do, when you meet someone and walk away from the conversation and a little voice inside says, ‘we need to help her’? You listen, is what you do. And you talk about it with someone who is willing to listen to you. Listen to you share your feeling of being moved by another human being and their misfortune, difficulty, hardship, heartbreak. You risk feeling vulnerable about caring so much. You push past the feelings of uncertainty. And, you listen to those who encourage you to not lose the moment, to not let it pass. And then, you do something about it. Get busy. Make something happen.” Read the full, moving story here.
Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post titled The Way You Love: “You continually focus on living comfortably, being preoccupied with your daily routines in life because they give the appearance and often the sensation of fullness…In so doing you regularly forget to focus on the “what” you are LIVING for. Work? Money? Possessions? I think not. Wait I actually know not.” Read more here. [Read more...]
It’s arrived. My two-year blogging anniversary. On my run this morning, I decided to queue up FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that have been posed to me. Here we go:
Q: WHERE do you find your content?
A: Three sources, listed in order of contribution. (1) I read. (A lot). (2) Susan (spouse). (3) 3F’s: Followers, Friends and Family.
Q: How do you decide WHAT to post?
A: Todd Lohenry recommended Evernote. (I recommend Evernote.) I let content marinate. If it still moves me a few days or weeks later, up it goes.
Q: Do you think you post too frequently?
A: I do think about this. Mostly from the seat of the follower/reader. Then I revert to the purpose of this blog. If it moves ME, it goes up.
Q: What has most surprised you about Followers?
A: The blogging community. Period. And, that so many in the Community take time to comment and share their insights and inspirations. I look forward to many of you tuning in each morning. When you don’t, I find I miss it. You are ENABLERS. Shame on you.
see what has never been seen;
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
: Chemical – a liquid that burns easily, that is used to turn solid substances into liquid, and that was used in medicine in the past to prevent patients from feeling pain during operations
: Literary – the clear sky; the upper regions of air beyond the clouds.
the ether : the air : the sky
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was born in Rockland, Maine, attended Vassar College, and upon graduation moved to Greenwich Village. Millay was born to Cora Lounella, a nurse, and Henry Tollman Millay, a schoolteacher who would later become a superintendent of schools. Her middle name derives from St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, where her uncle’s life had been saved just before her birth. The family’s house was “between the mountains and the sea where baskets of apples and drying herbs on the porch mingled their scents with those of the neighboring pine woods.” In 1923, when Millay was 31 years old, she published The Harp Weaver and Other Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Millay’s brilliant achievements in strict form place her in the first ranks of 20th-century American poets and today, when many of the high modernists are studied only in university classrooms, Millay’s poetry remains widely read and admired by a literate general audience. (Source: San Diego Reader and Wiki)
Hold a magnifying glass to this relentless, unsympathetic city.
And we find ourselves, lonely, but never alone.
We make our way.
We choose our paths.
We decide who we are.
Pulled and pushed in the silence of our thoughts.
While on side streets named for those forgotten.
Preoccupied with universal struggles that seem so unique.
We ask the questions that aren’t always answered.
Who am I?
Who will I be?
What have I become?
We arrive, and the innocence is bliss, but fleeting,
As we learn the truths of being human.
We are the loved, and the unloved.
The wanted, and the forlorn.
And in those moments between the light and the darkness
We find ourselves, lonely, but never alone.
~ Paul Riccio & Molly Finley
Credits: Thank you Swissmiss
“Is this magic? A miracle? No, it’s common as dirt.
It’s how creativity works. We show up. We do our best. Good things happen.
This is the intersection of Hard Work and Inspiration.
When we say “Put your ass where your heart wants to be,” this is what we mean.
This is what being a pro is all about. It’s why we practice self-discipline, self-validation, self-reinforcement…
We master all of those disciplines for one reason: so that we can be sitting there in the sweet spot when the Muse’s rocket ship passes by. That’s how the two sides work together. Hard work and inspiration.
Diligence produces inspiration because it shows respect to the goddess.
Genius and brilliance do not earn her favor. She prefers sweat. Get your butt in to the studio. Sit down at the piano. Boot up your iMac.
See yourself as the Muse sees you. You’ll know what to do.”
~ Stephen Pressfield, “You, as the Muse Sees You“
Image Credit: Patrick Wilbanks
“Meet Jack English, a 93-year-old legend who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the Ventana Wilderness, located in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. While on a hunting trip he learned that an old homestead in the Ventana Wilderness was being put up for auction by the estate of a childless heiress. He put a bid on the property and won. On the land he built a small cabin using materials from the land and milling trees by hand. When his wife passed away, Jack effectively left “society” and moved to the cabin full time.”
More on Jack English @ The Santa Barbara Independent: Jack
Good Sunday Morning
“You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paint brush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take. So when you make a living, do not merely make money. Why settle for cash when joy is on the line? You feel a thrill when you dance, when you sing, when you finish your poem; even when you sweep the room you see order pressing back against the chaos. So when you create, never settle for making a living — at least not the way that the world might define that phrase. When you make a living, you are speaking a new world into existence. You are creating grace within the confines, you are co-signing God’s blank checks.”
~ Jon Foreman, Lead Singer & Guitarist of Switchfoot. Excerpt from Meaning of Life.
Eunice @ My Portfolio – Taken With My Eyes Wide Open with her spectacular shot (above) which she has titled: White Mountain Hotel As Autumn Arrives. (White Mountain Hotel is in New Hampshire.) Check out Eunice’s other amazing shots here.
Lauren @ Thanky with her post titled Aware: “I saw an owl tonight, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time. The faintest bit of light remained in the sky, and in a matter of minutes the trees would be silhouetted against a dark night. But I could clearly see the treetops, and something was circling overhead. With a graceful spiral motion, it landed gently on a branch up high...” Read more here. Lauren writes about something she is thankful for each day. Be sure to check out her blog.
Carol @ Radiating Blossom with her share of a poem by Jane Hirschfield titled When Your Life Looks Back:
When your life looks back—
as it will, at itself, at you—what will it say?
Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool.
Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from.
Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many.
Your life will carry you as it did always,
with ten fingers and both palms,
with horizontal ribs and upright spine,
with its filling and emptying heart,
that wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return.
You gave it. What else could you do?
I’m on the 5:01 a.m. train to Grand Central.
I’m riffling through two days of morning papers. Without breaking stride, I shift to chopping through a small mountain of emails. I pause. I can feel my pulse accelerating. Work mode. Game time and it’s only 5:45 am.
The train moves through the tunnel. Internet connection is lost. I close my eyes for a moment looking for a few minutes of rest. But it’s not rest I find, it’s restless.
I shift to Kindle.
Elise sent me a link to a book over the weekend. I’m a few pages in. My mind drifts. I worked with her, could it be 9 years ago? Where does the time go?
Describe her in 5 words: Centered. Gentle. Peaceful. Kind. Goodness.
I get off the train. I’m walking briskly down 42th street. City is alive at 6 am. I cross Park. Madison. Fifth. Avenue of the Americas. Times Square. ABC’s Good Morning America is setting up outside on Broadway and 44th street…crowd milling.
I let her down. I remember the look in her eyes. I couldn’t have been more than a three minute conversation 9 years ago, and it’s a piercing tattoo etched in my mind. Thoughtless, wrong, self-serving.
“Who are you to do something like this? What makes you think you can make a difference? What makes you think you can succeed? I was diagnosed with polio as a young boy. When I came out of the doctor’s office, my life was going to be very different. And even as such a young age, somewhere deep in there, I remember thinking, I refuse to let this define me.
Mongolia evokes the kind of emotion that I would read in an adventure book as a child. The place that was always winter and never Christmas. Ulan Bator is the coldest city in the world. There is a big problem. Thousands of children that have been abandoned, many of them living on the streets. Without the help of the orphanages, how many of them would be dead? They’re overflowing, I have to do something. I’m not wealthy. I’m not famous. And I started to think about what I could do.
I have to do something. What came up, was, running. I’m going to run 1,500 miles across Mongolia to raise awareness and support for orphans and vulnerable children.
My Dad left when I was 2 years old. Nobody should ever be abandoned. I would deny part of who I am if I didn’t at least try.
I want you see these children and spark a hope that you can make a difference.”
~ Brian Hunter. Donate to the cause here.
SMWI*: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
It’s my third email of the day.
A member on the team is getting accolades.
I flashback to a conversation with his manager three years ago.
“He’s rough. Not sure he has it. Big Risk.“
“There’s talent there. Trust me.”
I send him a note: “I’m proud we’re on the same team.”
Seconds later my email is flashing with his reply.
“You made my day.”
I push my chair back.
And turn my back to my desk and stare out the window.
Good to be wrong.
Ostrich marking its territory. Bird’s got style…