{ The meaning of life }

David Kanigan:

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”).

Originally posted on Sol de Dezembro:

View original

Rise

rise-robert-ingersoll

 


Source: ArtPropelled

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: You up yet?

cute,close-up,photography,funny


“The pictures were taken by veteran nature photographer Steven Kazlowski.  The images were taken in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arctic Coast of Alaska.  There are currently around 20,000 wild bears living in the Arctic Circle.  That number could be cut by two thirds by mid century if the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change.  In 2008, the US government declared polar bears an endangered species and banned all American hunters from returning from Canada with their trophies.  Norway is the only country that has banned all hunting for the species, with Russia, Alaska and Greenland allowing native communities to hunt the bears as a food source.”

DON’T MISS Kazlowski’s other incredible pictures of the polar bears here.


Quote & Image Source: Dailymail.co.uk

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Vacation Over. Back to Work.

funny-snooze-clock-minutes-Jack-Nicholson-monday-morning


Source: themetapicture (From the Movie: A Few Good Men)

A Reprise of Revelations: I feel like I’m tasting food for the first time


Would she, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, former Ailey superstar and current artificial-hip owner — come out of retirement to dance at a special performance on New Year’s Eve? “Are you kidding me?” she responded. No, he was not kidding, and eventually the answer was yes, she would do it.

But knowing how to do something doesn’t mean being able to do it the same way you did it before. The dancers spoke of thinking one thing in their heads but having something else, perhaps, happen in their limbs. “Does the body do what it did when it was 20?”  “Maybe not.”

She was suffused by doubt. Her hip-replacement surgery had taken place at the end of 2012. “I also don’t have any A.C.L. in both of my knees,”

So she got to work. She enlisted the help of a physical therapist, a massage therapist and an acupuncturist; she tweaked her diet; she stepped up her Pilates; and she started going to class again. She began to see the dance from a new perspective, not just as a showcase for technique but as an expression of “all the things that life has put into you.”

And no, she said, she cannot do it exactly the same way she did when she was young: when she arches her back toward the floor while balancing on one leg and extending the other high into the air in one especially hard movement, for instance, she cannot bend back as far as she once did. “Alvin always said, ‘Ponytail to the floor,’ ” she said. “That’s not going to happen.” [Read more...]

Get in there and learn baby, NOW.


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…


We have eyes yet see not. Ears that hear not. And hearts that neither feel nor understand.


I think a lot about the contrast between banality and wonder.  Between disengagement and radiant ecstacy.  Between being unaffected by the hear and now and being absolutely ravished emotionally by it. And I think one of the problems for human beings is mental habits. One we create a comfort zone, we rarely step outside of that comfort zone.  But the consequence of that is a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. Overstimulation to the same kind of thing, the same stimuli, again and again and again, renders said stimuli invisible.  Your brain has already mapped it in its own head and you know longer literarily have to be engaged in it.  We have eyes yet see not. Ears that hear not. And hearts that neither feel nor understand.  There is a great book called “The Wondering Brain” that says that one of ways that we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in. Henry Miller says that even grass when given proper attention becomes an infinitely magnificent world in itself.  Darwin said attention if sudden and close graduates into surprise, and this into astonishment, and this into stupefied amazement. That’s what rapture is. That’s what illumination is. That’s what infinite comprehending awe that human beings love so much. And so how do we do that?  How do we mess with our perceptual apparatus in order to have the kind of emotional and aesthetic experience from life that we render most meaningful.  Because we all know that those moments are there. Those are those moments that would make the final cut. Only in these moments we experience a fresh, the hardly bearable, ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings. This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic, bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond our previous limits. And we literally have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download. That is what it means to be inspired. The Greek root of the term means to breathe in. To take it in. We fit the Universe through our brains and it comes out in the form of nothing less than poetry. We have a responsibilities to awe.

~ Jason Silva


Source: SwissMiss

Red Balloons + Kindness =


Yes, it’s a commercial. But what is it with this time of the year, Red Balloons and a bit of kindness? You can’t help but be warmed by the faces in this ad…


Murmuration


A flock of 10,000 starlings put on an impressive show near Gretna, Scotland this week.  Photographer Paul Bunyard films the poetry-in-motion spectacle of nature and puts it to music.


A Good Life, Too


Some Staff Mean.
Some Staff Good.
They say he not part of the world.
He Bad.
It felt bad.
He’s not part of the World. He evil.
I want a good life, too.


“When he was a toddler, Alonzo Clemons suffered a brain injury. It forever changed the way he learns and communicates but also the way he interprets the world around him. Very early it became clear to Alonzo that he had to sculpt. He was institutionalized for ten years in a state hospital which wasn’t a pleasant experience, but he continued to find ways to make delicate figures with his hands. When they wouldn’t give him clay, he would scrape warm tar from the parking lot.”

You can learn more about Alonzo Clemons’ work at alonzoclemons.com


SMWI*: It’s that time. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go.

run, exercise, weight loss,diet,move,dance,run,

*SMWI = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration with our baby ostriches.


Source: themetapicture. Thank you Susan.


American Value: Herb Dishman. This is our land.


“It’s a tradition that’s been handed down. Rice farming in the community has been a really big deal.  That’s what has driven our community for quite some time. I couldn’t wait to get into the field with my Dad. That was probably one of my favorite pastimes. He was there. He worked a lot. He worked very hard at what he did. He was always there to give me a hand…and give me just enough room to hang myself. When I originally left to go to school, that was my intention, was to go to school.  Fortunately, I was able to take those opportunities, and branch out and see different walks of life. I went into the restaurant business. Did that for a while. Then I went into the music business. I was always searching for something. Not always knowing where I was going or what I was trying to do. Just going and doing and trying to find that niche.  Where do I fit in? It’s a big question. Eventually when I was working on a documentary much as you guys are doing yourself, we went out into the jungle in Northeastern Cambodia. It’s a rice farming community as well. They plant everything by hand. Everybody is there together. Everybody is doing everything together. To help one another. Yeah, they butt heads, they fight just like everybody else. But their measure of worth is completely different.  And I realized that I had been missing the picture for a while. When it hit, I knew what I needed to do. I didn’t need to be anywhere else but here. Kinda have to figure out what you want to do. That was it.

As it grows. As you harvest. And make preparations for the following year, it’s the cycle of everything moving together. This is our land.”

~ Herb Dishman, China, Texas

~ Music: Bon Iver – The Wolves

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Hump Day: Mark your territory. And keep goin’

cool-gif-ostrich-territory


Ostrich marking its territory.  Bird’s got style…


Source: themetapicture.com

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Up. Out of Bed. This way.

monday morning



Sunday Morning: Morning of the World

Morning of the World from Gunther Gheeraert on Vimeo. Music: Ludovico Einaudi - Indaco


Gunther Gheeraert is Film Maker from in Paris. He shoots “Morning of the World” on the EOS 5D Mark III on his travels in Bali, Indonesia where he selects his best moments in life.

Good Sunday Morning.


I had to do something. I have no shame.


Moved. No words required.


Riding MetroNorth. The Day’s Highlight.

train-ticket

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?
Skipping lunch?
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...]

Amy & Travis


Amy & Travis dance to James Vincent McMorrow’s rendition of “Wicked Games” in “So You Think You Can Dance.”


Credits: Thank you Susan for sharing her favorite dance of the season.

Related Posts:


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

bert-sesame-street-funny


Photo Source: Thank you Madame Scherzo


Your body is my canvas


One word: Incredible.  (Full stop)


Ayse Juaneda

Sleeping-Birds-soft-pastel-on-paper-art-by-ayse-juaneda

venice-water color-on-paper-ayse-juaneda


Ayse Juaneda found my blog yesterday (how Ayse?) and I followed her back after browsing her wonderful posts.  What amazing talent…

Ayse is from France.  She’s an artist, teacher and designer.  Her first illustration is a soft pastel on paper – it is titled “Sleeping Birds.”  The second is watercolor on paper and is titled “Venice.”

Her work reminds me of a quote by Vincent van Gogh:

“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

You can find Ayse’s blog at aysejuaneda.wordpress.com.  Be sure to check it out.


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


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: 5 more minutes?

bird-duck-fierce


NOT A CHANCE!



Daughter


Daughter is an English indie folk band originating from London in 2010. Originally the solo work of Elena Tonra, they are now a trio with the addition of guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella.  The band released their debut album, If You Leave, in March 2013. Charting at Number 16 in the UK, it was also received favourably in the press; “An album as beautifully conceived as If You Leave is one you follow from start to finish, riveted by the story it weaves and the emotion it bleeds.” (Source: wiki)

Q: In a similar way, descriptions like ‘haunting’, ‘ethereal’ and ‘achingly beautiful’ are mentioned a lot, but it’s difficult to describe your music any other way, do you like that praise?
A:  Erm, yeah, I don’t really like reading too much [laughs] It’s really lovely when people say things like that about our music, it’s really complimentary, and it has some kind of impact, but yeah, I try not to read too much of what people say in reviews and stuff. They can completely bum you out, and then do the reverse and make you feel really wonderful, and that’s shit as well cause you get lazy and you just think you’re great [laughs] I like being very pessimistic and working hard because I never feel like I’m good enough anyway…Read full Interview with Elena Tonra at Outlineonline.com.

Find their album on iTunes at this link.


And on the 9th day…


My Brother Rich shared this video with me. It’s been viewed more than 2,300,000 times since it was posted. My hunch is all you dog lovers have seen this 2-minute clip at least once.  It was new to me.

Dogs. The deep baritone Paul Harvey-like voice with a rhythmic cadence. And you have another winner.

This clip is a take-off on the highly acclaimed Superbowl Ram Truck commercial on Farmers.  If you missed it, you need to check it out at this link: And the winner is…

 

Running. With BlueBuds.

329917-jaybird-bluebuds-x

6:10 am.  70° F.  Humidity: 100%.  Thick.  A mood dampener.

After an unexpected, unexplainable and unacceptable two-pound jump last week, Gadget Man replaced the seven-year old bathroom scale. I don’t need to wait three seconds of interminable flashing to see my test scores.  If you aren’t getting results, replace the equipment. Pull the band-aid off and hit me.

The new scale is sweet.  I step on the scale and it snaps to attention.  No waiting, no flashing, no bad scores.  This morning, this incredible technology signalled that I was a mere one pound higher than the challenge target, with another month to go.  Now we’re talking.

Yet, what a miserable journey this has been.  Rationing ice cream.  Mouth salivating for pasta.  A 3-cookie daily portion limit. People, this is not living.  And the real question is whether this is sustainable.

This morning, I’m determined to drive this weight down.  Way down below target to give me cushion. In one run.

My head is saying: 10 miles.
My body: Groaning. [Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: Yes, your work day will be filled with bliss

Jim-Carrey-funny-chance


Related Posts: T.G.I.F.: 5:00 p.m. Bell! (Jim Carrey)

Source: Pinterest

What is a quote?

Orange-Slice-Spray-Water-Fruit-485x728

“What is a quote? A quote (cognate with quota) is a cut, a section, a slice of someone else’s orange. You suck the slice, toss the rind, skate away. Part of what you enjoy in a documentary technique is the sense of banditry. To loot someone else’s life or sentences and make off with a point of view.”

— Anne Carson, “Foam (Essay with Rhapsody)” (from Decreation)


(Sources: Quotes - leopoldgursky, via othernotebooksareavailable.  Image Credit)

wabi-sabi

home,warmth,comfort

sunlight,sun, sun rays [Read more...]

A life lived well is never wasted

Marilynne-Robinson

Lori, LouAnn and Sandy Sue inspired me to read books written by Natalie Goldberg following my share last month.  So I dove into the Long Quiet Highway and came across this passage early in her book.

“Often when you take on the voice of a great writer, speak his or her words aloud, you are taking on the voice of inspiration, you are breathing their breath at the moment of their heightened feelings, that what all writers ultimately do is pass on their breath.”

I paused and reflected on the “great” writers that I have read.  Marilynne Robinson immediately came to mind.  She has the ability to transport me to another place and time – - writing with such grace, such beauty and such humanity.  She’s won literary “hardware” for her three major novels.

  • HousekeepingNominated for the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and winner of the Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction novel.
  • GileadWinner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and winner of the National Book Circle Critics Award for Fiction.
  • HomeWinner of the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction award.

Soon after I read Goldberg’s thoughts on great writers, I came this excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article shared at Lit Verve  where the writer asks Robinson about Rev. John Ames, a congregational minister in Gilead, Iowa and the main character in her novel Gilead: [Read more...]

SMWI*: Walk

walk, walking

“Two hikers with separate agendas and hiking solo, unaware of the other, set out to break the record for fastest time in completing the Pacific Crest Trail, a grueling, 2,650-mile test for thru-hikers…”

Heather “Anish” Anderson, a previously overweight high school student who dreamed of one day setting some sort of athletic record, and Josh Garrett, a dedicated vegan raising awareness for Mercy For Animals, both succeeded in their quests, and did so within a day of each other.”

“I carried all of my gear the entire way. I did not have a crew of people meeting me. When I needed supplies, I walked into and out of towns, which added about 30 miles total to my hike…”

“I cry when I think about all the things I have overcome to get here, both on this hike and off. It makes me ever so grateful to that chubby girl who dared to dream big, audacious dreams. I am even more thankful that she grew up to be a woman courageous enough to make those dreams reality.”

“Her dreams came true…reaching the Canadian border by averaging nearly 44 miles a day.”

[Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: 5:00 p.m. Bell!

Jim Carey,laugh, TGIF, T.G.I.F.


Source: Pinterest

Related Posts:

Running with E.T. August Logs.

E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial


6:00 am, August 4, 2013: 60F. Gentle morning breeze: 3 MPH. Spectacular day for a run. I’m off. Thoughts chattering. Legs pumping but heavy. Thighs stiff. Bottoms of feet tender. All aches emanating from yesterday’s run. Marquis whispers: “Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.” Yep, that’s about right.

5:30 am, August 4, 2013: Morning weigh in. 60 days left in the Biggest Loser Challenge. I expect a bad outcome. Expectations realized. Loser! Weight: Back up 1.8. And this after yesterday’s grueling 6-mile, rain-soaking trail run with the wolf pack — slopping around in wet woods, dancing on slippery rocks, and sinking in gooey mud. Somehow escaping injury. Rambo. No, Chubby Rambo. I step (waddle) off the scale in disgust. It’s all about intake and yesterday’s feedings.* So Mr. Lewis**, when? When do I learn?

7:30 pm, August 1, 2013: Rachel returns home from work. Dragging. In a mood. She runs upstairs. Comes down. Attired in florescent, glow-in-the-dark green shorts. Matching shoes. Ear buds in. iPhone in hand. Styling!

“I’m off for a run.”
“Wait, I’m coming with you.”
“No Dad. I would rather go alone.”
“NO, I’m coming.”
“NO Dad. I don’t want you to come. I’m not interested in running a time trial.”
“Rachel, you stand right here and wait. I mean WAIT.”

She waits. We go. Road narrows. Evening traffic heavy. I slow to let her pull in front and we run single file. Her hair tightly wrapped in a single braid which bounces up and down in the center of her back. She has a graceful, confident stride. In contrast, my legs are heavy – - long day at work… 3.5 plates of pasta for dinner…laboring to keep up. I’m breathing heavy.

[Read more...]

3:54 am. And Inspired.

7-27-13-sunflower-jpeg

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Carol @ Radiating Blossom – Flowers @ Words with her sunflower photography up top.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Anake Goodall with his share 62 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.
  3. Sandy Sue @ A Mind Divided with her post: A Break in the Weather: “…Earlier in the week I had a Come to Jesus meeting with myself.  When the depression bottoms out, all my demons swell up like roadkill on a hot day—gassy and explosive.  Out trotted All the Reasons My Life is Shit.  I won’t bore you with details, just to say there it is an unholy pantheon of gremlins.  And when said pantheon gets gassy and explosive, the splatter perimeter is vast…
  4. Christy Boyce @ 77 Ways To Grow with her post: Car Crazies!: “So unexpected. Such a feeling of freedom in an unexpected place. I crank up the music and roll down the windows.  I am a Mom with NO KIDS in my car!…[Read more...]

Running. Man and Running Dog.

vizsla,dog,cute,animal,photography


6:50 am. 67F. 87% humidity. Mom’s gone for the weekend visiting family.  Zeke’s not happy.  Mom walks him every day.  Every single day.  Three times a day.  2 1/2 hours a day.  Daily routine – I wave to them from the couch as they head out the door.  This morning, he’s out of sync.  Discombobulated.  He sees me gearing up for a run.  He scrambles into his cage and lies down.  He’s knows what’s coming.  I grab him by his collar and drag him out of his cage.  He snarls, baring his teeth.  (I don’t need this sh*t. I don’t want to go either but we’re going.  Pure Bred Running Dog who hates running.  Owner is carrying him to the car.  What a picture this is.  He looks me in the eye – not a happy look.  I glare back.)  I shift his weight to my left and pull him tightly to my chest to free up my right hand.  I reach for the door handle of the car.  And, pull my lower back.  And grimace.  Oh, boy.  I open the door.  Heave him into the back seat.  And curse.

I fire up the car.  Shift uncomfortably in the seat.  Lower back.  Hmmmmm.

I back the car out of the garage.  Zeke climbs from the back seat to the front.  And starts licking my face.  “Sit down.  No bloody kisses. (He knows that I’m pi**ed.) He sits down in the passenger seat. His seat.  And sulks.

And we’re off.  Mianus Park. Plan: 5-Mile Trail Run. We arrive at the Park, leash up, and walk through the entrance.  He pulls back on the leash and lies down on the bridge.  He will not move.  He will not accept a treat.  (Oh, yes.  A test of wills.  Just what I need.)

Another dog owner walks by.  One older German Shepard Mix.  Another is a happy looking mutt with tail wagging furiously.  (Did she just give me that look?  Like, how’s that pure bred workin’ out for ya?)

I stop pulling on his leash.  He’s now lounging, looking down at the river below.  (How many shades of humiliation are there?)

I decide to pull a Mom and talk nicely to him.  “Come on buddy.  Let’s go for a nice walk in the woods.  Come on.  Let’s go.”  (Oh, for God’s sake.  I can’t do this.  Is this what I’ve come to?  Man-up.  206 lbs of fighting machine against this 70 lb beast and he’s got the upper hand.  No chance.)

I look at him.  He looks up at me.  His tail swishing on the bridge deck.  (Is he smiling? Could this be funny?)

“You are going to come.  Right now. And run.”  (Our last visit to this Park was not a great show.  And an Elephant never forgets.  And this one has a plan.  I will not let him off leash to have him lie down in the grass at the bottom of the hill forcing me to back track.  No sir.  Not me.  I will drag him for five miles, if that’s what it takes.) [Read more...]

3:59 am. And Inspired.

New Zealand-lake-mountain

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Up top, you see a photograph by Nitzus, photographer extraordinaire who shares a shot from Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand.  I’ve never been to Kiwi-Land but this shot inspires me to do so.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Letters of Note with a post titled: It’s a strange and confusing world: …In October 1974, as he lay on his death bed at the end of a battle with cancer and reflected on his past, Clyde S. Shield wrote the following heartfelt letter to his 3-week-old grandson and offered some poignant advice for the road ahead…If I could package (with ribbon) those gifts that I would most like to give you, I would. But how do you package integrity, how do you wrap honesty, what kind of paper for a sense of humor, what ribbon for inquisitiveness?…Read more of this moving post at this link.
  3. Michael Baer’s Stratecution Stories with his post (a letter to his son who is graduating from high school): Letter to A Graduate - Some Rules to Live By: slow and steady is a solid approach to success. You will enter into college, and into life, with a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion. You will be impatient for success and expecting speedy movement forward. But know that things can take time. And much of life is beyond your control – all you can control is how you deal with things. So keep plugging away, taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and good things will happen…Read 9 other Rules at this link. [Read more...]

To the rushing water speak

dive

And if the earthly has forgotten
you, say to the still earth: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Credits: poem - lifeinpoetry.  Image: Hungarian Soul.  Rilke poem from “Sonnets to Orpheus

Look for those small openings

natalie goldberg

We have this life. We live it day by day. It passes quickly. Sometimes not quickly enough- we get despondent, sullen, downcast. Those are good words. In those slow moments something might appear- a chance to fall through our blistering fast-paced lives to the other side, where we can turn around and view ourselves, take a curious interest. Underneath everything we long to know ourselves. We wouldn’t know it though by the way we act- chugging down another whiskey, not listening to our daughter at breakfast, going sixty in a twenty zone. Reaching to get away; longing to come home. In writing, in sitting, in slow walking, a flash, a moment appears when we fall through and what we are fighting, running from, struggling with becomes open, luminous- or, even better, not a problem, just what it is. Look for those small openings.

~ Natalie Goldberg


Natalie Goldberg, 65, is an American popular New Age author, speaker, teacher and painter. She is best known for a series of books which explore and practice writing as Zen practice. Her 1986 book Writing Down the Bones sold over a million copies and is considered an influential work on the craft of writing. Her 2013 book, The True Secret of Writing, is a follow-up to that work.  Goldberg has studied Zen Buddhism for more than thirty years. She has been teaching seminars in writing as a practice for the last thirty years. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. (Sources: Wiki & NatalieGoldberg.com)


Credits: Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com.  Photograph: kripalu.org

Running. With Howie.

Stop-your-Sweaty-Palms


8:24 am. 74F. 66% humidity. Late jump. Two capsules of Nyquil Flu & Cold down the gullet the night before. Slept like a baby. This morning, I’m woozy. After five consecutive days of 96F+ scorchers and too much in-doors time, I needed to get out.

I’m off. Head in a fog. How is it possible to have a head cold in the middle of a July heat wave?

Mind whirrs to Howie Mandel. Comic. Actor. Host of NBC’s “Deal or No Deal.” Howie’s fear of germs. His fist bumps instead of hand shakes. His book titled: “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.”

I’m at Mile 1. I start sizing the GERM opportunity. A quick week in review:

  • Grand Central Station: 750,000 commuters a day. 1000′s of hands touching my exit door, all spilling out into Manhattan.
  • MetroNorth: 1000′s of touches on each stainless steel handrail we grip to hold steady while the train lurches to and fro.
  • Lunch. Food particles in the cracks on table. Water spots (one hopes) on spoon. Table top has a light sheen from being wiped with dish towel, after 7 other tables. Grab water glass, warm to touch, soap smell mixed with heavy chlorinated water. Rapid table turnover = > cash flow.
  • Bathroom. Hundreds of touches on the door handle a day. (Did your Mamma teach you to wash your hands after going to potty?)
  • Taxi cab doors and window handles. Office door handles. Elevator buttons. Conference room tables. Arm rests on chairs.

Do I grab the handle high, or grab it low, as most grab the middle? Or lean on door with shoulder? Or slide jacket sleeve over hand? Or, do I surreptitiously slow my pace to let another open the door in front of me?

And from these touches, a frictionless hand-off to my pen, my blackberry, my phone and my computer keyboard. Hand to nose to face to mouth. The germ baton is passed on; a leaf in the wind, a feather in the air, all silently and deadly landing on yet another unsuspecting prey.

But the moment that sticks is a split second decision to shake a hand prior to the kick-off of a meeting. A natural reflex. A custom. A greeting. A courtesy.
[Read more...]

Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration: Let’s Run!

a9dMOML_460sa


A baby polar bear learns how to walk…


Source: 9gag.com

SMWI*: Run like a Kenyan


Athletes from Kenya have won more Olympic medals in middle and long distances than any other country…how do they do it?…no coaches are necessary…they thrive on teamwork and competition…genetic theories of dominance are rubbish…you can’t find any other place in the world like this…you have to be here to feel it…the mind is as important as physical talent…so what makes Kenyans the best? Perhaps it is the magic of these mountains.


*SMSI: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Little Duck’s Thoughts

comic, illustration


Inspired by:

I’ll tell you what love of this life is.
It’s looking up
through trees newly bare of leaves
and seeing there the oldest road,
a broken line of white stars
stretching out across the sky.
It’s thinking,
this could be enough.

- Susan Elbe, Light Made From Nothing


Credits: Little Duck Comic Adapted from Poorly Drawn Lines.  Susan Elbe quote: Whiskey River

Let them relax into you

patti digh

How do we hold presence for others? How do we hold love for others, with no agenda? I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we all gave unconditionally and held presence for others, even strangers. Squeeze in beside someone so you are arm-to-arm. Stop moving away. Be fully present; listen to their story without being tempted to respond by recounting your own. be there, with words or not. Don’t check email, withdraw, or cook dinner as you listen. Recognize and own how your presence ‘changes the experiment,’ changes others. Show them that you truly care whether you see them or not. Lend them your strong, warm arm. Let them relax into you.”

~ Patti Digh


Patti Digh is a writer, a speaker, a teacher – - and she describes her most significant job being a mother to her two daughters.  She was born in a small Southern town in North Carolina. She went to a small Quaker college (Guilford College) and then to graduate school in English and Art History at the University of Virginia.  She landed a job in Washington, DC, as a receptionist for a nonprofit organization–and worked in nonprofit organizations for years.  She’s written six books including her best seller “Life is a Verb.”  She describes her work as opening space for people to say a big “YES” to their lives–before it’s too late.  “I’m about living like you’re dying–because you are. Each moment is precious, and magic. It’s hard to remember that when the laundry piles up and the dishes need washing, I know. My job is to remind you that those “ordinary” things are your life–and to see what is extraordinary in them. To help you tell a story with your life that you’ll love and be proud of at the end of it.”  She turned 50 and got a tattoo to mark that passage and to remind me always of three core questions from Buddha that guide her:

  1. How well did you love?
  2. How fully did you live?
  3. How deeply did you let go?
  4. Did you make a difference?

Source: Patti Digh Website:  37days.com


Credits: Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com. Image & Bio Background: 37days.com

Sunday Morning: Hy Snell

“Get Old” Hy Snell, 94 from Variable on Vimeo.


“Hy Snell, 94, is an energetic and awe-inspiring gentleman. When asked how he felt about aging, Hy couldn’t even comprehend why we were interested in the topic. It was as if “age” didn’t even exist in his world. For Hy, “age” has had nothing to do with his joy and contentment in life. His immense passion for creating artwork has kept him moving forward without looking back for over seven decades despite his ongoing battle with failing eyesight. At 94 years-old and a dwindling 5% of his eyesight remaining, Hy continues to find inspiration due to the fact that he is literally seeing things differently every day. This fact spoke volumes to us since it is relatable on so many levels. In summary, Hy truly is a living testament who proves that each road block, as tough as it may seem at the time, can provide tremendous opportunity for growth and prosperity.”

Wiggle your toes. Can you feel it? (Bliss)

toes in grass-bliss


Source: Themetapicture.com

Running. With Moobs.

Kramer-Man-Boobs-Bra-Moob-Seinfeld


5:00 am. 75F. 89% humidity. Need to get a jump on the heat. Weatherman calling for 91F by noon. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Right. (Bullsh*t.) I’m off.

Feeling good. Three consecutive days of running. Not bad. Yet, a bigger deal? Avoiding all food intake after 7pm last night. Now, this, this, was a major accomplishment. A single break in habit. A lifetime of four more-than-square meals a day. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Bed-Time Snack. (A hard Pivot? A Break? Hmmmmm. More like a kink in a fire hose. Or overnight bout of constipation. Dam will burst. It’s just a question of when. And it won’t be pretty.) But…let’s focus on the positive here. Six days into my Biggest Loser Campaign and the trend is my friend.
[Read more...]

4:01 am. And Inspired.

mayne island - Terrill Welch


Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Up top, you see a photograph by Terrill Welch, photographer and painter extraordinaire from Mayne Island, British Columbia.  Check out her featured photographs here and her featured oil paintings here.
  2. Yoni Freedhoff @ Weighty Matters with a share that he describes as one of the most gripping, harrowing and tragic articles I’ve ever read.  < 500 words. I read it a week ago.  And still can’t shake it.  Read the article titled Fatal Distraction.
  3. Sandy @ Another Lovely Day with her post: report from my in-box: 6•27•13.  Our good friend Sandy had accumulated 20,000 emails in her inbox and has decided to finally deal with it.  My neuroses would have exploded.  She, on the other hand, is unfazed.  I am inspired.  Read on at this link. [Read more...]

Just inch yourself out of that back line. Yes. Go. Now.

165869_amy-poehler_JLC

Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they’re proven right. Because, I think there’s something inside of you—and inside of all of us—when we see something and we think, ‘I think I can do it, I think I can do it. But I’m afraid to.’ Bridging that gap, doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—THAT is what life is. And I think you might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s special. And if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself. Now you know. A mystery is solved. So, I think you should just give it a try. Just inch yourself out of that back line. Step into life. Courage. Risks. Yes. Go. Now.”

— Amy Poehler


Amy Meredith Poehler, 41, is an American actress, comedian, voice artist, producer and writer. Raised in Burlington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Boston College in 1993 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improv at The Second City and ImprovOlympic. Poehler was a cast member on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2001 to 2009. In 2004, she became the co-anchor of the Weekend Updatesketch along with her friend and colleague Tina Fey. Poehler’s work on SNL earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Since 2009, she stars as Leslie Knope in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which she has been nominated for three Emmys forOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, two Golden Globe Awards, and one Screen Actors Guild Award.  (Source: wiki)


Sources: Quotes – Thank you sundoginthesky.  Portrait: Frame.Latimes.com

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

monday,morning, laugh,wake-up, wake-up call


Source: Humortrain.com

4:50 am. And Inspired.

art, waterfalls


Good Wednesday morning. It’s been a long time in recognizing my favorite posts of the week.  Here we go…

  1. JT Weaver with his post titled The Last Visit:  “This was the last time I would ever be allowed to enter the home of my youth and I knew it…There was still a familiarity when we pulled in and parked the car in front of the garage.  The grass that I had mowed so often as a teenager and the driveway I had swept as one of my chores, all seemed so real and so current to me.  The garage door opened with that same squeaky sound I had known for 50 years…Just entering the kitchen I could feel and smell it.  Not the musty smell from years of neglect while the house was for sale, but those many meals that were cooked here.  I could feel the bustling of dozens of people around a holiday meal with the loud chatter everywhere…Read more at this link.
  2. A Busy Mind Thinking with her post titled A Day In The Life – When You Are Trapped In Your Body: “…Prior to illness this was my routine…I worked full time. I drove my children to and from school. I attended all school and sports related activities. Twice a month I would go dancing with my sister. I worked out in a gym 3 to 5 times a week…You would have to see my body to appreciate how it (now) appears. My fingers, hands and arms curl up. My legs are swollen and my toes are discolored. If I can walk a few steps I am significantly bent over. I cannot straighten myself up or be helped to do so. These are the facts. Sometimes, due to the paralysis nature of my illness, it affects my facial muscles and my neck on the right side. This in turn affects my ability to speak, to chew food, to swallow, to smile, to breathe, to not choke…WHEN YOU ARE TRAPPED IN YOUR BODY all sorts of things change. So here is my average day now…”  Read more at this link. [Read more...]