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...]
Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life
and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sea and sky?
Why am I afraid to love, I who love?
Why am I afraid, I who am not afraid?
Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity?
Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand?
Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness?
Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship?
Why was I born without a skin? Oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or be touched.”
~ Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays
Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature ”for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.” His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O’Neill wrote only one comedy (Ah, Wilderness!): all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.
Words, questions, music, thoughts. All in a hypnotic cadence. Making it hard to step away.
Source: Thank you Whiskey River
He returned home for Thanksgiving. My strapping 6′ 3” son walked into the waiting area. He had grown. Looking down on his Dad from a higher elevation. Adorned with knee length gym shorts. (47F outside.) Sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. Wow. Only a Mother can love this slovenly look. And she does. I let it ride. For about 24 hours. Do you think just maybe you could trim it up? Dad puts up the fences and guardrails. Empathetic Mom breaks ranks. Intuitive Son notices his parents on opposing sides. Mamma’s boy digs in and expects full cover. With leverage waning, I grab the last lifeboat …when one feeds at the trough, respect the farmer. Outcome: No haircut. And, I now have a Son using hair elastics and headbands aka hair accessories.
He returned home for Christmas. There he was waiting for us at the airport terminal. Same knee length ratty gym shorts. (39F outside). Same sorry sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. All intact. Clothes, hair, shoes…looking matted, dingy and need of a hot shower and wire brush. Mom first. Then, Dad gave his Son a hug. Zeke, electrified, and in the midst of a full head-to-toe body wiggle, finally settled after Eric kneeled down to hug him. Of course, Zeke needed to be part of the greeting party. [Read more...]
Rachel: Hi Daddy!
Dad: Hi Honey. What’s up?
Rachel: Daddy, I scored an 88 on a brutal Managerial Accounting Test!
Dad: Wow, that’s amazing Rachel. Well done! I’m proud of you.
Rachel: OK Daddy. Just wanted to let you know. Gotta run.
45 second phone conversation with daughter on car ride home from work. Priceless.
Image Credit: Thank you abirdeyeview
Tall black boots. Long hair hanging free down her back. Carrying a black duffle. Walking with a quiet confidence. She’s pivoted following the summer internship in Manhattan. A bridge she’s crossed. A new found self awareness…I can play. I can hold my own. Her grades have popped up, even raising her own eyebrows.
Zeke’s nose recognizes someone familiar in the dark. Then it hits him. Rachel! His entire body writhing with wiggles…he smothers her with kisses. [Read more...]
When I read the title of this book, my head snapped back. I believe that “doing what you love” (or pursuing your passion) leads to you being effective and satisfied in your job and leading a satisfying life. Newport suggests that “following your passion is terrible advice” and that “skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.” I’ve bought the book and I’m starting to dig in.
Amazon’s book summary states that “Newport debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping…Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”
There is a worthy start-of-the-week message in the excerpts from 800ceoread’s book review:
“Most of us believe that to give, we first need to have something to give. The trouble with that is, that when we are taking stock of what we have, we almost always make accounting errors. Oscar Wilde once quipped, ‘Now-a-days, people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.’ We have forgotten how to value things without a price tag. Hence, when we get to our most abundant gifts — like attention, insight, compassion — we confuse their worth because they’re, well, priceless.”
I received some backchannel email blow-back on my last post (10 Most Loved Jobs. And 10 Most Hated) and the related posts on Doing What You Love. (Whispering to me: Here you go again. Not everyone is in the situation YOU are in. Try to walk in someone else’s shoes for a change. Tired of you preaching about Doing. What. You. Love. Some of us can’t walk away to a lesser paying job to Do.What.We.Love. We need to pay the bills. We can’t relo away from aging parents, family, friends. We can’t walk away from our house and the mortgage. We need to keep the Don’t-Love-My-Job we have.)
OK. I get it. Yet so many are unhappy. Feel stuck. Are unfulfilled. Or are frustrated in their current station. The three articles below share some excellent advice on how to make the most of the current job you are in. My Cliff-Notes recap is summarized here:
- Do. (Continue) to do an excellent job.
- Connect. (Develop deeper relationships with people you work with)
- Learn. (Learn & apply new skills and knowledge which will fuel higher levels of engagement)
- Contribute. (Achievement and contribution gives us a higher sense of purpose.)
- Don’t Complain. (…And drag down your colleagues and pollute your brand.)
“There’s no justiﬁcation for an employee to wait expectantly for the organization to furnish engagement, as if it’s something somebody can give you. The key to sustainable high engagement is taking primary responsibility for it. Now is the time to own your own engagement. (FastCompany)
Here’s the 3 self-help articles on the topic…
After posting my work-out video this morning (For Those Who Suffer, We Ride…), I stepped on the scale to find that I had set a new personal worst…a 12-month high. On with the running shoes, and out the door…no matter that the air was thick with humidity and threatening rain…I was determined to shake this weight off in one long run.
(Clank) (What is going on with you?) Flashback.
After Rachel left home to go to college, I camped out in the attic. Meaning, on the couch…curtains drawn…big screen flashing…Friday night after work through the weekend. This went on for several weeks.
I watched five consecutive seasons of the TV Series “Rescue Me.” 5 seasons = ~ 50 episodes. 50 shows = ~38 hours of TV. Back to back to back to back to back to BACK. (Obsessive Personality Disorder. Topic for upcoming post.)
There was no other TV during this Rescue Me marathon. I took short breaks for meals, showers and potty breaks. No exercise. No walks outdoors. No Zeke dog walking. Minimal human interaction. Just sayin’ – I was hunkered down. (Who says it’s Moms that fall apart after the kids leave the nest).
“How’d your day go Dad?” (For 19 years, I’d come dragging through the front door at the end of a long day. She’d be lying on the couch watching continuous loops of reality TV. Not a peep from her on how my day went. Now she’s asking. Hmmmm. Until you walked a mile in a man’s shoes…)
“Let me tell you about my day Dad.” (She proceeds to jabber on and on and on about her day…giddy almost…youthful exuberance. Anxious. Yet excited. Learning. Being stretched into new territory. Unsure footing. No worries Honey. It will come. It will surely come…)
“Dad, did you read about the Greek vote in the Wall Street Journal?” (Read what, where? Rachel reading a newspaper? The WSJ? I’m getting woozy.)
Discipline is a pre-requisite for greatness….Yoga is about persistent practice. Whatever we decide to do, we need to do it everyday. Religiously. Regularly. Systematically. Thoughtfully. Discipline beats resistance we encounter while attempting difficult stuff.
Eat. Pray. Work. Love. In one of the sessions, our teacher asked us to recite the following words: “Eat half, Double the intake of water, exercise three times more, laugh four times more (remain happy), work five times more and pray ten times more”. It is a simple, yet very powerful advice for health and happiness.
Hit this link 8 Life Lessons From Yoga Workshop to read the entire post.
Source: Thank you Michael Wade @ Execupundit for pointing me to the post.
It started about a week ago. Rachel asked me to take her into the city. She was nervous. She doesn’t know her way around. She needed to get her paperwork completed and her picture taken for her summer job. She asked me again, 2 days later. And then again. (Why does she keep asking me, when I’ve told her that I would do it? She doesn’t think Dad will show. That’s it. All those other times. One excuse or another usually all tied to work. Couldn’t make it. Something has come up. I’m busy. Mom will take you.)
Thursday night. She asked again. I glare at her. She backs up.
Friday morning. You can see she didn’t get much sleep. She’s nervous. She’s dressed. OMG. My girl is wearing a suit. Nicely dressed. Professional. My eyes well up. I have to turn away.
We’re waiting for the train. It’s early.
- So, take a moment to ask yourself…
- Chances of Success…
- Hump Day Inspiration: True Heroism is…
- Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration: Yes, I did…
- Wednesday. Hump Day Inspiration: Don’t Bend…
- Win by Winning…
- Success is not a theory…
- No matter how risible, esoteric and seditious it might seem…
- Who will be crying at your funeral?
- Putting others before yourself
- Killing bugs in my room for me
- Always being so optimistic and finding something positive to say
- Making me yummy breakfast
- Teaching me that winning isn’t everything
- Being so forgiving
- Defending me until the end (mostly from Dad)
- Caring and teaching me the importance of caring for others
- You personify that "good things come in small packages!"
I’m not a Paul McCartney fan. (Could I be the only one?)
But McCartney featuring Natalie Portman, this is something special…
What if it rained?
We didn’t care
She said that someday soon
The sun was gonna shine
And she was right
This love of mine,
- The Long Day is Over (Norah Jones)
“…I asked you not to keep me waiting. I told you not to keep me waiting. Now the afternoon is fading on…” (Lyrics)
“…I want a little bit of everything, The biscuits and the beans, Whatever helps me to forget about The things that brought me to my knees…I think that love is so much easier than you realize, If you can give yourself to someone, Then you should…” (Lyrics)
Thank You On The Backstreets