“Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.”
- A text from a high school student who was aboard the ferry that capsized yesterday off South Korea’s southern coast. Four passengers were killed, 55 were injured and more than 280 are missing. (via latimes)
“Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.”
I have never wanted anything more than the wild creatures have, a broad waft of clean air, a day to lie on the grass at times, with nothing to do but to slip the blades through my fingers, and look as long as I pleased at the whole blue arch, and the screens of green and white between; leave for a month to float and float along the salt crests and among the foam, or roll with my naked skin over a clean long stretch of sunshiny sand; food that I liked, straight from the cool ground, and time to taste its sweetness, and time to rest after tasting; sleep when it came, and stillness, that the sleep might leave me when it would, not sooner … This is what I wanted,—this, and free contact with my fellows … not to love and lie, and be ashamed, but to love and say I love, and be glad of it; to feel the currents of ten thousand years of passion flooding me, body to body, as the wild things meet. I have asked no more.
~ Voltairine De Cleyre (1866-1912)
Charles Murray’s 5 Rules For A Happy Life:
- Consider Marrying Young
- Learn How to Recognize Your Soul Mate
- Eventually Stop Fretting About Fame and Fortune (Fame and wealth do accomplish something: They cure ambition anxiety. But that’s all. It isn’t much…)
- Take Religion Seriously
- Watch “GroundHog Day” Repeatedly
#4: Now that we’re alone, here’s where a lot of you stand when it comes to religion: It isn’t for you. You don’t mind if other people are devout, but you don’t get it. Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore. I can be sure that is what many of you think because your generation of high-IQ, college-educated young people, like mine 50 years ago, has been as thoroughly socialized to be secular as your counterparts in preceding generations were socialized to be devout…I am describing my own religious life from the time I went to Harvard until my late 40s. I still describe myself as an agnostic, but my unbelief is getting shaky…Start by jarring yourself out of unreflective atheism or agnosticism. A good way to do that is to read about contemporary cosmology. The universe isn’t only stranger than we knew; it is stranger and vastly more unlikely than we could have imagined, and we aren’t even close to discovering its last mysteries. That reading won’t lead you to religion, but it may stop you from being unreflective. Find ways to put yourself around people who are profoundly religious. You will encounter individuals whose intelligence, judgment and critical faculties are as impressive as those of your smartest atheist friends—and who also possess a disquieting confidence in an underlying reality behind the many religious dogmas.
Read all five rules here.
Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass. After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”
Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.
And if you missed the original, here’s “20 Strangers Kiss for the First Time“
And don’t miss today’s NY Times Article offering fascinating background on the original video: A Kiss Is Just a Kiss, Unless It’s an Ad for a Clothing Company (43.5 million views on YouTube and Vimeo and counting…”)
Thank you Lori for sharing.
“Pay attention to when the cart is getting before the horse. Notice when a painful initiation leads to irrational devotion, or when unsatisfying jobs start to seem worthwhile. Remind yourself pledges and promises have power, as do uniforms and parades. Remember in the absence of extrinsic rewards you will seek out or create intrinsic ones. Take into account [that] the higher the price you pay for your decisions the more you value them. See that ambivalence becomes certainty with time. Realize that lukewarm feelings become stronger once you commit to a group, club, or product. Be wary of the roles you play and the acts you put on, because you tend to fulfill the labels you accept. Above all, remember the more harm you cause, the more hate you feel. The more kindness you express, the more you come to love those you help.”
- David McRaney
Quote Source: Brainpickings - The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Surprising Psychology of How to Handle Haters. Image from Amazon.
As I told your Mom in our wedding vows,
I promise to love you fiercely too.
One day, when you’re a Mother, you’ll know the kind of love that I am talking about.
A love that makes my eyes well up with tears of joy when you simply hug me.
A love that moves me to rise from bed and check on you at three in the morning mostly because I just miss you when you sleep.
A love that makes it hard for me to let go of your hand when you try to balance on something because I know you need to learn from your mistakes.
I promise to look you in the eyes when you come to me with a problem.
I’ll always want to fix it for you right then and there.
I promise to listen as to whether you’ll want a hand or just an ear.
I promise to drop you off at college and when I do, I promise to do my best to contain my excitement for you so that I won’t embarrass you in front of your new friends.
I promise to have a reputation amongst your friends as a Dad that intimidates your boyfriends.
I promise to raise you to be strong and independent.
I promise to cry when I let go of your hand when I let go of your hand at the alter…
…I want you to know that every time when you open the door when I come home from work you’ll see a smile on my face
My arms already open ready to catch you
I’ll always be ready to catch you…
For you, Rachel…
I can still remember how she looked. Black gown grey against the sky, clutching the scroll in the hand. So much hard work.
Did it mean anything when all paths led to the same end. You can extend the path you take. Choose the one less travelled. Be all the richer for it. But it is still a path, and all paths lead to the same end. If you have a Lover and a Dog waiting for you, you are one of the lucky ones. I don’t think there’s anything afterwards, outside the stories. if there is, how would that work?
She believed. She wasn’t a zealot or fundamentalist. But she believed. Enough to not get scared at the end. Vast thunder storms. Fat on the horizon. But she could still see the sun. All things shining.
Sometimes I do the impossible. Steal a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. Light and full of love. I don’t try to stop her. Tap her on the shoulder. Pull her home.
They ask me years later. Does it get easier as time passes or does it stay at the back of your mind.
No. It stays right at the front.
~ Jack Tasker
Dad didn’t like it.
Dad didn’t support it. (Story here.)
Dad gets rolled (ignored is a better word).
Daughter does it anyway.
Last night, Daughter as President, addressed Seniors and incoming Freshmen in her final official duty.
Daughter sends Mom and Dad two text messages last night.
“Everyone Loved it.”
“They all cried.”
Here’s a summary of her speaking notes:
Wonderful story by Chris Huntington in the New York Times on Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss:
On regretting missed opportunities:
“I’m constantly aware of lost opportunities. I used to think such lost opportunities were beautiful towns flashing by my train windows, but now I imagine they are lanterns from the past, casting light on what’s ahead.”
“When you’re 20, five years is a long time, so they act out. I used to be like that. But now I’m two-thirds done, so every day is taking me closer to the door. When I think like that, I can get up in the morning and smile.”
On love and loss:
“Our son is from Ethiopia, where I once saw a dead horse on the side of the road that resembled an abandoned sofa. I asked a friend if we needed to do something about that, and he said the wild dogs would take care of it. We took our son far away from all of that five years ago, which may seem like a kindness, except it also hurts. I wish our son could know those dirt roads and the way they looked like chocolate milk in the rain, the way the hillsides were a delicate green, the way our driver would not go into the zoo because he was disgusted by the concrete ugliness of the lion cages. I wish my son’s birth parents could see him swimming. He’s such a good swimmer. I wish they could hear him reading books aloud. I wish he could know them. I wish our son could speak Oromo, the language of his birth. Our story, so full of love, is also full of loss.” [Read more...]
I used to think I knew everything. I was a “smart person” who “got things done,” and because of that, the higher I climbed, the more I could look down and scoff at what seemed silly or simple, even religion. But I realized something as I drove home that night: that I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-no matter how smart or accomplished – they cry, they yearn, they hurt. But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
― Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom, 55, was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He is an American best-selling author of the blockbuster bestsellers Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day. His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. He was an acclaimed sports journalist at the Detroit Free Press and he is a frequent participant on the ESPN Sports Reporters. Albom has also achieved success as a screenwriter, dramatist, radio broadcaster and musician.
He grew up in a small, middle-class neighborhood from which most people never left. Mitch was once quoted as saying that his parents were very supportive, and always used to say, “Don’t expect your life to finish here. There’s a big world out there. Go out and see it.” Albom once mentioned that now his parents say, “Great. All our kids went and saw the world and now no one comes home to have dinner on Sundays.”
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.”
“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”
~ Andréa Balt
- Source: Thank you Make Believe Boutique
- Read more by Andréa Balt: 30 Questions
- Find Andréa Balt on Facebook
fame, nor wealth,
not even poetry itself,
could provide consolation
for life’s brevity,
or the fact that King Lear
is a mere eighty pages long and comes to an end
and for the thought that one might suffer greatly
on account of a rebellious child…
it has taken me
all of sixty years
that water is the finest drink,
and bread the most delicious food,
and that art is worthless
unless it plants
a measure of splendor in people’s hearts.
After we die,
and the weary heart
has lowered its final eyelid
on all that we’ve done,
and on all that we longed for,
on all that we’ve dreamt of,
all we’ve desired
hate will be
the first thing
About the Author:
Taha Muhammad Ali, (1931-2011), was a leading Arab poet. He was born in Galilee and fled with his family to Lebanon after their village came under heavy bombardment during the 1948 war. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sold souvenirs during the day to Christian pilgrims and self-studied poetry at night. His formal education ended after fourth grade. Despite his spare output and lack of formal education, Ali has become one of the most widely admired Palestinian poets. Ali’s vivid free verse conveys the moody resilience of his personality in treatments of the national grief of occupation, exile and the Palestinian Arabs’ “endless migration.” Often informed by symbols and structures from Arab tradition, Ali’s ironies stand alongside easily grasped, even universal, versions of lament: “We did not know/ at the moment of parting/ that it was a moment of parting.” Ali transmits humor, his way with a tale and his deep roots in “fatigue, hunger, vagrancy,/ debts and addiction to ruin.” Composed between the early 1970s and now, Ali’s poems are timely and affecting; his 1984 masterpiece, “The Falcon,” portrays the poet as a migratory bird indebted less to his companions than to his own “sadness… so much greater than I am.” A moving, richly poetic story, in which all the deprivations of Ali’s verse coalesce in a child’s desire for a pair of shoes, closes the collection. (Source: Amazon)
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.
- James Vincent McMorrow in We don’t eat until your father is at the table
- NYC Ballet in New Beginnings At Sunrise
30 years ago today.
On a steamy afternoon in Northern Michigan.
They were married.
Her Yin to His Yang.
The Beauty. Gentle, kind and forgiving.
The Beast, less so.
She, the passionate Extrovert,
seeking comfort in conversation and friendship.
He, in constant retreat to solitude.
She, the Mother, a nurturer. Their Friend.
He, the Father, the rules enforcer, the Driver.
She, steady, firmly anchored in high winds and heavy seas.
He, bringing it in bits and pieces,
but giving the best he had.
And despite the pull and tug of opposing forces,
the sweet music plays on.
Happy Anniversary Pal.
Here’s to 30 more.
It was move-in day.
A North Carolina morning.
Where a cool breeze dusted your face.
And a cumulus cloud was chiseled into an otherwise unmarked sky.
The Sun was warming.
Yes, another one of those days in which you know.
You know that this wasn’t all by accident.
Too large. Too complex. Just too big.
We are among other parents and their children getting an early start.
Moving day buzz and jitters.
Hauling printers, pillows, college-ruled paper and milk crates. Setting up bunk beds.
Momma and Momma’s Boy are tangling over where to put stuff.
PC isn’t working.
I tell him to let me try.
I sit in his desk chair. The chair he will be sitting in for the next 9 months.
And work on setting up his printer.
I feel his disorientation.
He’s inherited this from his Dad. [Read more...]
Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.) Which one is optimal?
- “A” > “B” = No “C”
- “A” < “B” = No “C”
- “A” + “B” = Some “C”
- “P” = “J” = No “C”
Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where ‘J’ = Your Job.
Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9 @ Indexed by Jessica Hagy
- 59% of men and 66% of women have ended a relationship because someone was a bad kisser.
- People remember their first kiss more vividly than the first time they had sex.
- Prostitutes often won’t kiss because it requires a “genuine desire and love for the other person.”
- Men who kiss their wives before work live 5 years longer, make 20-30% more money and are far less likely to get in a car accident. Psychologists do not believe it’s the kiss itself that accounts for the difference but rather that kissers were likely to begin the day with a positive attitude, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
- It matters a lot more to women than men.
- Ninety-six percent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do.”
- No matter how attractive someone may be, poor hygiene can kill the moment before it even begins. This is particularly true for men. Women depend heavily on taste and smell and pay close attention to teeth when evaluating a partner.
Read all 10 Tips and a great post at @ Barking Up The Wrong Tree
“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:
- How well did you love?
- How fully did you live?
- How deeply did you let go?
- Did you make a difference?
Source: Patti Digh Website: 37days.com
I sneak a peak at the clock. 2:30 am. Early, even for me.
I’m teetering inches from the edge of the bed. Drifting in and out of consciousness.
I can hear his breathing. It’s too hot for him to sleep at our feet, under the covers, a winter pastime. So, he’s up on the pillows. This was cute as a puppy. Beastly now at 67 lbs. And he’s a leaner. On your legs. On your back. On whatever is in the way. But lean he must.
He dreams. He’s running. His paws and legs kicking. Faster. Faster. Faster. A bear pawing a tree, roughly ripping slabs of bark and digging his claws into its sinews. Or me.
Enough. Bleary eyed I grab my pillow and get up. He’s watching me warily and emits a low growl. He remembers our weak kneed attempts at re-training to have him sleep on the floor. That ended badly. For us.
I trudge up to the attic.
I toss. I turn. I toss. I turn. 3:00 am. Hopeless. I can’t settle. Doesn’t feel right.
I waddle back downstairs. Linus with his pillow and blanky in tow.
I crawl back into bed. He turns. Licks my face. Rolls over. And leans against my back.
I gently lean back into him.
Image Source: Themetapicture.com
Related Posts: More on Zeke
I encourage you to watch a short video at this link: Remembering Lorna Colbert. Fitting for a Sunday Morning. Whether you love Stephen Colbert and his show, or not, this was a moving tribute to his Mother, who died last week at the age of 92. My friend Lori @ Donna & Diablo shared this with me and it has remained top of mind.
A few select excerpts:
…She made a very loving home for us. No fight between siblings could end without hugs and kisses, although hugs never needed a reason in her house.
…She knew more than her share of tragedy, losing her brother and her husband and three of her sons. But her love for her family and her faith in God somehow gave her the strength not only to go on but to love life without bitterness and instill in all of us a gratitude for every day we have together.
…And I know it may sound greedy to want more days with a person who lived so long, but the fact that my mother was 92 does not diminish, it only magnifies, the enormity of the room whose door has now quietly shut.
…In her last days, my mother occasionally became confused, and to try to ground her we asked simple questions, like what’s your favourite colour, what’s your favorite song. She couldn’t answer these. But when asked what her favourite prayer was, she immediately recited A Child’s Prayer, in German, that she used to say to my eldest brothers and sisters at bedtime when they we living in Munich in the late 1940s. Her favorite memory of prayer was a young mother tucking in her children.
…We were the light of her life, and she let us know it ‘til the end.
Do take a moment to watch the video: Remembering Lorna Colbert
Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night) explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper real fantasy. Magic…
The image has been
a counterweight to darkness.
Every Father’s nightmare.
I call it up. The image.
To block. To deflect.
Her sinewy silhouette shimmering against the moonlight.
Waves lapping her toes on the shore line.
Her eyes closed.
Wind gently rustling her hair.
A need to believe.
A longing to feel.
Her at Peace.
That she is safe.
She’s coming home.
“Parental love, I think, is infinite…Not infinitely good, or infinitely ennobling, or infinitely beautiful. Just infinite…”
~ Adam Gopnik
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you have ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
~ Derek Walcott, Love After Love
Derek Alton Walcott, 83, was born in Saint Lucia in the West Indies. He is a poet and playwright who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is currently Professor of poetry at the University of Essex in the U.K. In addition to having won the Nobel, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career including an Obie Award in 1971, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. (Source: Wiki)
New leadership books pour over the dam each day claiming to share a secret sauce. A cow rhythmically chewing and regurgitating its cud. But far less effective. It largely comes down to these eight lines from James Autry. Period.
In every office
you hear the threads
of love and joy and fear and guilt,
the cries for celebration and reassurance,
and somehow you know that connecting those threads
is what you are supposed to do
and business takes care of itself.
~ James A. Autry
Source: 800CEORead - Bring Your Emotional Self to Work. The words above were written by James A. Autry and are included in Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership (p.32). And all of this reminds me of the John Maxwell quote: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Image Credit: Cory Smith – Ix.com
“…Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”
- Kahlil Gibran, (1883-1931) from The Prophet – “On Work”
- Of work done with love (nonworld.wordpress.com)
I hope that non-Canadians get this too…
Country isn’t down my power alley…but this song is smooth. New Zealand punching above its weight class this week – first my Uggs and now Keith Urban.
Source: Thank you Sundaug
Hollywood Style primer for Valentine’s Day. Find your favorite movie scene here?
David Byrne, 60, is a Scottish musician permanently residing in the United States. He is best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American New Wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. He has received Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Brainpickings.org describes Byrne “as also one of the sharpest thinkers of our time and a kind of visual philosopher. About a decade ago, Byrne began making ‘mental maps of imaginary territory’ in a little notebook based on self-directed instructions to draw anything from a Venn diagram about relationships to an evolutionary tree of pleasure yet wholly unlike anything else. In 2006, Byrne released Arboretum, a collection of these thoughtful, funny, cynical, poetic, and altogether brilliant pencil sketches — some very abstract, some very concrete — drawn in the style of evolutionary diagrams and mapping everything from the roots of philosophy to the tangles of romantic destiny to the ecosystem of the performing arts.”
Bottom line: Brilliant.
“There is nothing I dislike.”
“These are the extraordinary words of the great teacher Linji; they are a lifetime koan for anyone who dares to take it on. Lifetime koans like this one never give up on you, luckily. ‘There is nothing I dislike’ is daring and fragrant and alive, and it is like this because it’s like this. ‘There is nothing I dislike’ rearranges us profoundly, when we offer ourselves to its energy, its scrutiny, its disturbance in us. [Read more...]
Disclosure: I have blocked my family members from commenting on this post.
I’m in the car off to work.
I’m scanning my playlist to find a match to my mood. I’m challenged. Nothing seems to fit. Nothing that is, except the weather.
Mind pans back ten years. A sunny day in Miami. A lazy Sunday afternoon. She loves car rides. The sun roof is open. Andrea Bocelli is crooning on the cd player. We’re crossing the Rickenbacker Causeway. The City center is on our left. Biscayne Bay’s shimmering aquamarine blues are on the right. A warm tropical breeze is gushing through the windows. I look over and her eyes are closed and her hair is blowing in the wind. A portrait of youthful bliss. An indelible image that can be pulled up at will. [Read more...]