The Joker

face-eye-portrait-black-and-white

It’s the end of a (very) long day, concluding with a work dinner. I drag myself out of the car, pulling my briefcase behind me. My shirt tail is untucked. My tie half undone. My shoes, dusty and scuffed. A disheveled, sloppy mess.

I’m hopeful that I can slither into the house and get a few minutes to myself. I enter. The house is quiet but for the soft murmur of a TV running on another floor. I slowly strip my shoes and socks, with my bare feet cooling on the wood floor. I’m in decompression. Hose me down with pure oxygen. Let Solitude rain on me.

And then.

There’s Thunder. Four legs storming up the stairs. Zeke’s bounding down the hallway. Dad’s Home! He wiggles in and out of my legs. Kissing (licking) my suit pants, leaving white slobber dripping from my crotch. Well that’s nice. Ah, just forget it. It just adds to your ensemble.

Susan rounds the corner. My Hummingbird spewing nectar all over. She’s talking. I’m listening. (Sort of.) The subject turns.

SK: Do you want some feedback? [Read more...]

Miracles

internet
Back in June, I shared a post on how I had come to be reading books written by John Updike, John Steinbeck and other literary Titans. The post was titled: Lit Boy. My college Professor, John Vande Zande, is responsible. Sadly, I learned that he had passed away.

On Monday, two months after I had written the post, an email settles gently in my inbox among a stack of 30 or 40 others. I see the surname on the email address. My eyes lock-on “from Vande Zande.” My mind whirs back to the Lit Boy post. I read the email.

Dear David,

Thank you for the lovely tribute to my father, John Vande Zande, on your blog. I also had him as a teacher, but I’m not sure a son appreciates this the way a stranger does. Thank you for letting me see him through your eyes. It would mean a great deal to him to know that he inspired you so much. He was always skeptical of his role as a professor. He would say, “What business do I, a kid from Big Bay, have in being in front of a college classroom?” I think the best profs do doubt their business in being in front of a room of students. It keeps them humble and it keeps them trying. The worse profs are probably the ones who doubt the business of their students being in the room.

Thanks again,

Jeff Vande Zande
www.jeffvandezande.com

John Vande Zande had a Son. He’s a English Professor. He’s a writer. (A published writer). And a poet and a screenwriter. (How proud would his Dad be of him today.)

And as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:
[Read more...]

But my miracle was different

sunrise

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

~ John Green, Paper Towns

Or, let’s change up the last sentence with an alternate version:
[Read more...]

Dance With Me


LIKED it. Enough to watch it 3x. Not sure why. And not sure I fully understood it…all interpretations welcome.

20 Strangers Kiss For the First Time


Source: Thank you Karen’s Korner. Music by Soko “We Might be Dead Tomorrow” on iTunes.


Passages?

love-sex-aging

OK, I need help interpreting the illustration:

  1. She’s single and sleeping alone. Courting suitors?
  2. She’s married. Shares her bed.
  3. She’s married. Shares her bed with another.  Their child.
  4. The family gets a dog. Dog sleeps in bed.  Less room on bed. (This is all sounding close to home.)
  5. She’s pushed out of bed by husband, child and dog? Further separation?
  6. Empty Nesters pull together?
  7. She’s alone. (Husband deceased? Divorced?) Finds peace in meditation and being alone?

Source: “Passages” – NY Times Sunday Book Review


Inhale people and exhale skin

andrea-balt

“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



The first rule is comfort in, dump out

chart-comfort in-dump out

How Not to Say The Wrong Thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman

It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It’s the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.

…Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.

Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.

When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.”


Source: SwissMiss

Yup. That’s how they (thoughts) roll.

funny-thoughts-bored-mouth


 

 

 

What’s in a name?

Guy Mortier portrait by Stephan Vanfleteren

It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.

It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry.  (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)

Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years?  And you still don’t know my name.”
I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance.  Damage done. Twice, in seconds.

Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”

Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “

Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…


“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.


A Million Things That Bug Me

funny-Calvin-and-Hobbes-comic-list


Source: themetapicture.com

Clouds in my Coffee

photography

I had some dreams,
they were clouds in my coffee
clouds in my coffee,
and…

~ Carly Simon, You’re So Vain


Quote Source: Thank you Dan @ Your Eyes Blaze Out.  Image Source: Thank you Susan @ Licht Years


30 years. And counting.

red-balloons-anniversary

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.

Love,

Dave


Credits: (1) Balloon Image. (2) Jim Morrison’s Words: Virgin State of Mind (…bringing it in bits and pieces…)

Two qualities that make you compelling (or not)

compelling_people_book_cover_John Neffinger

“…It turns out that when we decide how we feel about someone, we are making not one judgment, but two. The criteria that count are what we call “strength” and “warmth.” Strength is a person’s capacity to make things happen with abilities and force of will. When people project strength, they command our respect. Warmth is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When people project warmth, we like and support them…”

“…While each of us exhibit both strong and warm qualities, the authors found through various studies and research that we often fail to utilize the right amounts of each. This is because, although both strength and warmth are positive traits, they can become negative if not balanced for and catered to your specific situation. Awareness is key. Strength and warmth are controllable traits we use in every interaction we have—via our tone of voice, the words we use, how we stand and walk, what we wear, and even how we cut our hair…”

Read more @ 800ceoread


Find this book @ Amazon

 

Criteria for Husband: Must Love Dogs

cute,photography, close-up. dog, sleepy

“I never would have thought it necessary to establish criteria for boyfriends or husbands, especially one as seemingly unimportant as: Must love dogs. As in:

  • You must be able to share your waking hours and living space and a good amount of your disposable income on a four-footed companion that is basically a child in fur for 12 to 15 years.
  • You must plan every vacation around its needs.
  • You will trip over toys and pigs’ ears and chew hooves splayed across your best Persian carpet.
  • You will be forced to walk it every day, rain or shine, or risk having your favorite shoes sacrificed to the god of canine frustration.
  • If everything goes well and it lives to a ripe old age, you may have to decide to end its suffering, and you will have to be strong enough to stay with it those last moments, stroking its silky ears.

In my life, dogs have always been a part of that equation, a way to find the small, grounding moments in life — the grass, sunlight and sweet bite of plums — that we commonly call happiness. After 20 years of marriage, on our fourth dog, my husband and I are best friends, which must be at least as rare as soul mates.”

Read the rest of this article by Tatjana Soli @ Picking Up The Scent On The Road to Bliss


Related Post: Guess who graduated? With a fancy badge and diploma too…

Credits:

  • Photograph: Pink Blue & You - the winner of the Cute Close-ups Competition was Gemma Buttery’s dog Neo
  • Thank you Susan for sharing the article.

The Secret of a Full Life

Anaïs Nin

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

— Anaïs Nin, May 1946.


And this coming from Nin in 1946. “…Hastier and more superficial rhythm.” “…we believe we are in touch…” illusion of being in touch deeply.” “…mechanical voices take the place of human intimacies…”

What would she say about us today?


Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977) was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in Neuilly, France, where she was also raised. Her father, Joaquín Nin, was a Cuban pianist and composer, when he met her mother Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer of French and Danish descent who was working in Cuba. Nin lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She published journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays and short stories. Anaïs Nin is perhaps best remembered as a diarist. Her journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts, and other figures, and wrote of them often. (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Quote - thepoetoaster.  Image: The Anais Nin Blog

Kissing. 10 Tips From Scientific Research

kissing

  1. 59% of men and 66% of women have ended a relationship because someone was a bad kisser.
  2. People remember their first kiss more vividly than the first time they had sex.
  3. Prostitutes often won’t kiss because it requires a “genuine desire and love for the other person.”
  4. 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.
  5. It matters a lot more to women than men.
  6. Ninety-six percent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do.”
  7. 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


Image Credit

Sunday Morning: Sonder


sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.


21. And counting.

black and white; photography

She turned 21.

Our celebration dinner was at home earlier in the week.
Family was seated together. She was at the head of the table.
Champagne glasses filled. Dad with his Snapple. A Toast.
Her favorites. Cheesy Parmigiano-Reggiano breaded chicken breasts.
Buttery mashed potatoes. Long stemmed broccoli and cheese.
Followed by vanilla flavored birthday cake with thick gobs of frosting.
Cards from Grandparents.
Earrings.
She opens a small box from her Brother. Beaming. She slides on a ring.
I turn my head away to keep it together.
Discussion turns from sharing stories to plans for the evening.

“I’m staying in the city with a friend.”
“You mean you’re not coming home tonight?”
“No, Dad”

Flash of anger. Rolling to disappointment. Then settling into Sad. Turning deep, down and inward.

Dad’s leaning into a gushing current.
Water rushing over, under, through.
Hopeless to stop it. Yet he keeps trying.

Happy Birthday Honey…


It has an edge. It opens your eyes. Quickens your ears.

James hillman

“Not just any talk is conversation; not any talk raises consciousness. Good conversation has an edge: it opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation reverberates: it keeps on talking in your mind later in the day; the next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said. That reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness; your mind’s been moved. You are at another level with your reflections.”

- James Hillman, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World is Getting Worse


James Hillman (1926 – 2011) was an American psychologist born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He studied at, and then guided studies for, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, founded a movement toward archetypal psychology and retired into private practice, writing and traveling to lecture, until his death at his home in Thompson, Connecticut on October 27, 2011.  After high school, he studied at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for two years.  He served in the US Navy Hospital Corps from 1944 to 1946, after which he attended the Sorbonne in Paris, studying English Literature, and Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a degree in mental and moral science in 1950. In 1970, Hillman became editor of Spring Publications, a publishing company devoted to advancing Archetypal Psychology as well as publishing books on mythology, philosophy and art. His magnum opus, Re-visioning Psychology, was written in 1975 and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. (Source: Wiki)


Source: Image – Circololettori.  Quote: Whiskey River.

Man Down

head cold

It was born on Thursday morning. Source, unknown.  Lousy night’s sleep.  Scratchy throat.  Teasing cough. Oh, oh.

By lunch, phlegm was sliding down the nasal passages.

By mid-afternoon, slow ripples…no waves, waves of low level, throbbing migraines.

I skip over major projects.  Start pushing off meetings that can be deferred.  Manage to creep through the afternoon aimlessly picking at project-lites.

Leave at 5:30.  Head home.  To rest.

“Starve a cold. Feed a fever.” (Why then, am I sitting at the table eating like a wolf?)

Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu.  I roll the shimmering green gel tablets in my palm – calm settles, I pause, and I swallow.  (The Nightime, Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching, Stuffyhead, Fever, So-You-Can-Rest Medicine.  Yes, as advertised.  This sh*t works.)  Magic. 30 minutes later, I’m gone.  Dream land.

Friday morning.  Eyes open.  Wary.  But feeling rested.  Hey, I feel better.

I approach the decision tree.  Stay home – contain contamination. Or, Soldier on.  Decision? Off to work it is.  Real men, work.

Steady downward spiral.  Hour by hour deterioration.  Popping Sudafed tablets.  Phlegm no longer phlegm.  Mucous. Vicious type.  Sn*t.   No longer a gentle slide.  Running. [Read more...]

Yep, on point.

laugh, true, relationships, work,hard day


Source: themetapicture.com

Words

photography, black and white, portrait, woman

Yesterday. Marathon meeting starting at 8am. A single topic, full day meeting ending at 3pm. Tight agenda on an important subject. Full engagement by all participants. Constructive collaborative discussion. Good meeting. Yes, an Oxymoron.

We finish our working lunch and continue at a workmanlike pace chopping through the agenda. My mind drifts. Back to a moment in 1985. A moment drifting into consciousness hundreds (1000′s?) of times. (Can it really be 28 years ago? You’ve deeply regretted so many other foot-in-mouth-moments. Why does this painful one keep coming back?)

[Read more...]

Counterpunch?

buddhism

Patient acceptance is often considered a weak and passive response to problems that we do not have the power or courage to solve. In reality, however, being patient is far from being passive. There is nothing strong or courageous in reacting to hardship or insults with anger – all we are doing is being defeated by our delusions.”

~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (from “How to Solve Our Human Problems”)


Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddhist monk, “meditation master, scholar, and author” of 22 books based on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Tibet in 1931 and ordained at the age of eight. After leaving Tibet, he spent eighteen years in retreat in the Himalayas in India.  He subsequently became a teacher and founder of spiritual centers.  He retired as General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU in August 2009 but continues to write books and practice materials. (Source: Wiki)


Note to Self: Patience (Still seeking).  Acceptance (Try it. Just once.).  Delusions (Thank you Monk Master for the ah ha moment.)


Credits: Image – kadampa.org.  Quote – Thank you Sun Dog

Good Morning Grumpy


I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this.  Yes I do.

Good Morning!


Source: swiss-miss

That’s Right!

brene brown

“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I am not interested in your feedback. ”
~ Brené Brown


“Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions: How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?”


Quote Source: Swissmiss.  Brené Brown’s website.. Bio, Image and her popular TED talk.

Get Back

Is it really that important to be constantly busy?

Is it really that important to be so engaged in social media?

or…

Introduction: Get Back from The Lincoln Motor Company on Vimeo.

Sleep. China. Leisure. Marx. Judging.

senior woman in black and white

Potpourri of articles that have lingered with me…and have fired up the thinking gene:

1) Extend our conscious life span by 150%.  The End of Sleep. (Aeon Magazine)
(DK: I need to get some of this “medicine.” Or, maybe not.)

2) Not Doing Better Than Our Parents. And Loving It. (The Umlaut.com)
(DK: Just what my kids need to read.  I can hear it already.  “See Dad. You have it all backwards.”)

3) Choking on China.  The Superpower That is Poisoning the World. (Foreign Affairs)
(DK: I’m not Mr. Green.  But, this.  This is frightening.)

4) A Man of His Times (Karl Marx). (NY Times)
(DK: Hard left. Hard Right. We’re all human. )
“He is an intensely loving father, playing energetically with his children and later grandchildren, but also suffering what would now be diagnosed as a two-year depression following the death of his 8-year-old son Edgar.”)

5) Change Your Thoughts About People For a Better Life. (Steve Aitchison)
(DK: I set a modest goal after reading this post.  No judging for 1 day.  Outcome: Fail. I’m workin’ it. First step in recovery is recognizing…you know the line…I’m on step 2.)

6) The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter @ HBR Blog Network)
(DK: “It is hard to feel alone, or to whine about small things, when faced with really big matters..” YES.  Period.)


Image Source: GagaBoss Studio

On How to Feel Better

On How To Feel Better from Joshua Kang on Vimeo.


Related Posts:

How to be interesting

Jessica Hagy’s new book was published this month.  It is titled “How to Be Interesting. (In 10 Simple Steps).”  The Lady is genius.  Here are two examples:

charts, humanity, strangers, relationships, comments

And  here’s the second:

[Read more...]

Skate! Skate! Skate!

snoopy, skating,love,memories,peanuts,Charlie brown,funny,laugh,comic strip


I hope that non-Canadians get this too…


Source: 3eanuts

I love you…

Hollywood Style primer for Valentine’s Day. Find your favorite movie scene here?

Monday Mantra: Cleaning Piece III

Cleaning-piece Yoko Ono


This one made me think.  (And I averted my eyes away from the double negative as I re-read this 3x.)

If you are curious about Yoko Ono’s Cleaning Piece I, II and IV (I was), you’ll find them @ Ibloghappiness.


Source: thisisnthappiness

Event of the Thread

I’m sorry I missed it…An excerpt of the review from the NY Times: “Anyone who liked swings as a child — and that should include quite a few of us — will probably feel a surprisingly visceral attraction to Ann Hamilton’s installation “the event of a thread” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City…The swings are there for us, to swing on.  The piece has other components, about which more in a minute, but if people are not using the swings, “the event of a thread” does not fully exist. When they are in action, the immense, diaphanous white curtain, made of a lightweight silk twill, rises and dips, and the air is stirred, causing further billowing and fluttering.  And in the middle of it all, the curtain, which resembles a low-cost indoor version of Christo and Jean-Claude’s 1972 land art piece “Valley Curtain,” was doing its silent, discombobulated dance. In addition, if you paused in your swinging, you could feel the rest of the interconnected system pulse and gyrate, a momentary demonstration — at once silly and profound — that we are, indeed, all connected.”

Here’s a short and wonderful video clip that makes it all come alive…

the event of a thread from Paul Octavious on Vimeo.


Related Posts: Be sure to check out Olivia’s terrific post on the same event at Your Effect on Me Is Incredible

Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

foot tapping, funny, laugh, business, multitasking, work, professional,

Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.

If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

I’m in the groove. Making up lost time on a long neglected project with a looming deadline. And, then a colleague with unscheduled “drop-in” meeting walks through my door. My flow is interrupted. “It will just take a few minutes,” was the request. Rather than setting expectations as to my time upfront or scheduling a meeting to accommodate the discussion, I reluctantly shoe-horn it in.
We’re five minutes in. And we are wading. In a swamp. My mind begins to wander. (My foot starts tapping. I start playing with my pen. I sneak glances at my watch. TRIGGERS. Susan’s post intrudes: You see the triggers pal. The alarms are coming at you in waves. Pull up. Pull up. Do not go to the “automated response.”

Making Same Mistakes. Certainly.

Power, Jeffrey Pfeffer

We’re back to work after a wonderful two week siesta with the family.  No travel.  No stress.  Just watching movies, eating and napping sprinkled with a well intentioned but woefully under-executed exercise regimen.  Time to shift gears to work-mode.  A post I came across during my vacation by Eric Barker @ “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” reminded me of an earlier conversation with a bright (very), ivy league educated, younger colleague.  He posed these following questions:

You have achieved modest success in your career, what key learnings can you share?  (Modest?  Do I ooze underachievement?)

I’m sure you have made mistakes along the way?  Would you mind sharing?  (Why not start with the wins?  Is it that obvious that this captain has weathered too many rough seas?)

Have you made repeated mistakes in the same area and why?  (Cringing. How does he know? Do all ex-collegiate hockey players have a reputation of diving into the same scrum and looking for trouble?)

What tips would you share with someone just starting their career?  (In contrast to me, that is, one who is just finishing or finished?)

[Read more...]

Why…

black and white, pondering, thinking, think, thoughts, hope, aspirations, fear

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.


Source: Thank you Whiskey River for quote.  Wiki and goodreads for bio.  Black and White for image.

Thought Moments

Words, questions, music, thoughts. All in a hypnotic cadence. Making it hard to step away.


Source: Thank you Whiskey River

Cat’s left the cradle

Eric-before-after-2012

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...]

All The Best Things In Life…

Illustration, chart, venn diagram, life, living, regret, embarrassment, fear, relationships, communication


My initial reaction to Wendy MacNaughton’s illustration was “Wrong!  Wrong! Wrong!”  I let it marinate and then returned to it.  My reaction shifted to “please, please, please let it be wrong.”


Wendy MacNaughton.  I’m a big fan. She’s an illustrator and graphic journalist with a long list of brand name clients including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and a slew of others.  Some of my other favorite illustrations include:


Source: Explore

Help others. Part of our obligation.

Bill Murray - Caddyshack

Q. Are there days where you wake up and think: “Nothing good has come to me in a little while. I’d better prime the pump”?

A. Well, who hasn’t woken up thinking, “God, nothing good has come to me in a while,” right? When I feel like I’m stuck, I do something — not like I’m Mother Teresa or anything, but there’s someone that’s forgotten about in your life, all the time. Someone that could use an “Attaboy” or a “How you doin’ out there.” It’s that sort of scene, that remembering that we die alone. We’re born alone. We do need each other. It’s lonely to really effectively live your life, and anyone you can get help from or give help to, that’s part of your obligation.


~ Dave Itzkoff interviewing Bill Murray, Sunday, December 2, 2012, New York Times: With Bill Murray, Just Take the Trip

Make it a Level 5 Good Morning

black and white

Something so simple.  Yet, so true. Yes, it takes time.  Yes, an introvert would need to leave the safety of their comfort zone.  Making a human connection.  I care.  You matter.  Need to work up to top of the ladder.  See full and worthy post from The Chief Happiness Officer:

“Please do not underestimate the effect of something as simple as saying good morning at work.  Studies show that when you have a good start to your work day, you’ll typically have a good day. Here’s our easiest and best tip for kicking your work day off with happiness: The Level 5 Good Morning.  We call it that because there are several approaches to saying good morning at work:

  • Level 0: You ignore people completely
  • Level 1: A somewhat unintelligible grunt
  • Level 2: Saying good morning without looking at people
  • Level 3: Make eye contact as you say good morning
  • Level 4: Also say something more than just good morning, e.g. “How are you?” or something more personal.
  • Level 5: Also touch the other person – e.g. a handshake or a pat on the shoulder.

At what level are the typical good mornings in your workplace? And what would happen if you took it to level 5?”

Even a dog can learn to do it for Pete’s sake…

husky, animal, dog tricks, pet tricks, gif


Image Sources: Whale and Dog.

I’m a card carrying member…

humor, funny, fun, laugh, psychology, communication, sarcastic


Source: Thank you madamescherzo

 

Somehow I had been taught to fear genuine kindness…

gentle, kind, big dog-bunny

“Gentleness may have been the first thing I noticed about Joe…I may have noticed his size at about the same time: though he is by no means an enormous man, he was the tallest person in our training, and one of the few men.  Though I believe that he is gentle by nature, I get the sense that he also carefully cultivates gentleness, probably in part to compensate for a tendency to seem imposing.  The intensity of his focus, his fierce intelligence, and his penetrating insight may have contributed to an all-around sense of intimidation, were it not for his warm heart and gentle approach…Joe’s equanimity and gentleness were part of what made me so suspicious.  I felt I was being lulled into something, perhaps made to accept some kind of touchy-feely, New Age pabulum. (Only much later would it occur to me, with a painful shock: somehow I had been taught to fear genuine kindness, to be suspicious of sentiment, to believe that if it wasn’t genuine poetry, it wasn’t genuine feeling.  When, I wondered, did I become so infected with irony that I couldn’t receive uncomplicated love?) With time, though, I recognized that Joe epitomized the first rule of Rubenfeld Synergy Method: gentleness.  Approaching our clients this way also communicates a deep kind of attention: when we are being gentle, we are listening, and leaving space for the client’s truth to emerge.”

~ Kamela Dolinova, Gentleness: the first word in our work


Sources:

You can only control three things…

rope swing, tire swinging, swinging, swing, gif

You only directly control three things in the entire world. Interestingly, none of these are other people. You are in charge of your thoughts, your words, and your actions. That’s it. Most of us neglect these three key items, however. Instead we direct our precious, limited energy on thinking and talking about how others should be different. This is fruitless and even lazy. As long as I’m focused on what’s wrong with you, I don’t need to pay any attention to improving me. Focus on you. Rather than hoping you can mysteriously change the fundamental personality traits of those around you, direct your energy on perfecting your own sweet self.

Devora Zack, CEO of Only Connect Consulting


Source: Fast Company via John E. Smith @ Strategic Learner.  Image: Thank you madamescherzo via popculturebuzz

You Do. You Get.


Source: Writers Write

You’re just another biological organism…

you are just another biological organism - funny - humor


Source: shahirzag.com

I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time..

 

“I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time. What I find interesting is the way people look when they are lost in thought, when their face becomes angry or serious, when they bite their lip, the way they glance, the way they look down when they walk, when they are alone and smoking a cigarette, when they smirk, the way they half smile, the way they try and hold back tears, the way when their face says they want to say something but can’t, the way they look at someone they want or love… I love the way people look when they do these things. It’s… beautiful.”

~ Unknown

 

 

 


Quote Source: madamescherzo via katyjean.  Source: e-m-p-a-t-i-a via iamabrusselssprout

If I…

If If If If


Source: creatingaquietmind

Your existence…

fun-humor-funny-existence-relationships-communication


Sorry, can’t stop laughing.


Source: creatingaquietmind