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)
…“Work-life balance” is a toxic distinction, inviting misery and stress, endless juggling and reconfigurations to try and get it “right,” where no right actually exists.
Maybe the hippies, the yogis, Einstein had it right when they say that everything is life – no matter what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with – because everything is energy, vibration, movement. You can’t separate work from life anymore than you can separate water from a river.
The question, then, becomes more about where, energetically speaking, do you want to dwell? What sort of pulse and movement do you want to enjoy, through it all? Tortured and low, with the executives and the mind’s cruel categories, or up high, with the lovers, the synergists and the fools?
~ Mark Morford, Is “Work-Life” Balance a Lie?
Photograph Credit: Brooke Didonato
Most people have the hardest time relaxing. We were taught at an early age to ‘do,’ and now we are so addicted to doing that even if we take a break we think about what to do next. Very few ever realize that the priceless treasure in life is ‘Being.’
- Photograph: Thank you Brian Ingram. Note that Brian also kindly permitted the use of his photograph for my blog header.
- Quote: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner.
New time of day.
A mid-day oasis.
A sabbatical from the morning crush.
No scramble to find a seat.
Tourists staring out the window.
Day visitors chattering.
Students with headphones bobbing their heads.
And a smattering of Suits.
The Sun beams through the windows overheating the railcars.
The train clacks Se détendre. Se détendre. Relax.
We pull into Grand Central at 3:51 pm, 10 minutes late.
The crowd meanders out of the car.
I zig zag around them.
I have a 4pm call and need to get out of the tunnels to get a cell signal.
The escalator to the Exit is out of order. I look up the stairs. Way up. And groan.
I take them. One at a time.
Counting them off.
I look up. Dear God. I’m only about half way there. Where the h*ll is the Oasis now.
Heaving now. Gasping for air. Middle age wheels are coming off.
I steal a peak at my watch. 3:58 pm. 2 minutes until the start of my call.
Pay attention. A toe stub would be a calamity, serious mellon damage.
A backward tumble is unimaginable.
3 steps left.
76.77.78. Could this be what a heart attack feels like?
I dig into my bag. And pair my bluetooth ear piece to my phone.
“Good afternoon everyone. I’m going to put my phone on mute. Please take the lead.”
Wow, I managed to get that out.
Superman leans against the sign post on Madison and 46th.
The chattering continues in his right ear
as he watches the yellow cabs flying by.
The delivery trucks.
All a symphony. An orchestra.
He waits for the Walk signal pondering the antidote to his Kryptonite.
And there it is.
Don’t fish? Don’t like fishing? Don’t care about fishing? No worries. This short film is so much bigger than that.
…It’s easy to stay inside when the weather isn’t pleasant. Sometimes convincing yourself to get out is the hardest part. And once you’re out, it’d easy to find an excuse to quit. But there are just some things you can’t see from the inside of your house. Some things you can’t feel and experience from the comfort of your warm home. Things your high definition TV can’t give justice to.
The woods are silent. And the water abandoned by the crowds who surrender to the cold. You fully appreciate the stream you fish, when you see it cycle through all its seasons. The dense thick green canopy is gone. And the stream runs crisp clean and bright. The sun touches water it only reaches a few month a year.
The pain of frozen extremities fades fast when you hook that first fish. And all of the sudden, it all seems worth it. You forget about all of your problems. You forget about the ice in your guides. The frozen hands. The problems at home. Troubles at work. It all fades.
At the end of a cold day of fishing you end up much more thankful than when began. Thankful for the motivation to get up and get out. Thankful for the lessons of the day. Thankful for the fish you may have been blessed with. And thankful to return home to the things outside of fishing.”
A good book
Pandora on loop
A Snow Day
Wood cackling in fireplace
Dog wagging tail
Pancakes with maple syrup
Tomato Soup and Grill Cheese
Hot chocolate with marshmallows
Piping hot chicken noodle soup
Hot Tea with honey
An unexpected call from a friend
Softness of skin after shaving
Hot apple cider
Long afternoon nap
Warm tropical winds
Poetry I understand
Poetry about spring
Mindless web surfing.
Saturday morning papers in bed.
Background music on Pandora.
Shower? Shave? No. Sweatpants.
Breakfast: French Toast with hot maple cream syrup.
Old episodes of “Cheers.”
Words with Friends.
Short walk with Zeke.
Lunch: Piping hot tomato soup and Grilled Cheese.
Curl up on couch in attic. Rain (forecasted) pattering on roof.
Samuel Beckett’s “Three Novels: Molloy. Malone. Unnamable.”
Drift into Long nap.
Gentle foreign film whisking me off to Paris.
In a place like Paris, the air is so thick with dreams they clog the streets and take all the good tables at the cafés. Poets and writers, models and designers, painters and sculptors, actors and directors, lovers and escapists, they flock to the City of Lights. That night at Polly’s, the table spilled over with the rapture of pilgrims who have found their temple. That night, among new friends and safe at Shakespeare and Company, I felt it too. Hope is a most beautiful drug.
— Jeremy Mercer, Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
“I’m sick of watching the shirts with sleeves hang lonesome in my closet, I want to put them on and let you take them off. I want to wear the kinds of things that don’t slip off in an instant, the kinds of things with zippers and buttons and layers and depth. I want to feel soft, I want the comfort of a comforter, I want to spend Saturdays in bed with all the windows open.
I want to spend Sundays in cars with the windows open, too, driving to fields where apples and pumpkins grow. I want to taste the thick of fall in my mouth, in pies and brews and hot coffee. I want confusion over whether or not to wear a jacket and confusion over what hue that tree was three weeks ago, I want everything to change so that I can feel like there’s reason to be alert, like there’s a reason to wake up again.”
“…Did you know they have performed studies? Tests? Surveys and scientific trials into the idea of luck, into the phenomenon of good fortune? Of course they have. They are trying to answer why some people enjoy endless, seemingly effortless heaps of happy fortuitousness and serendipity, while others – do you know anyone like this? – are in a state of near constant, ass-clenched frustration because the world refuses to obey their narrow and twitchy expectations, and therefore they are always sick, broken, late, damaged, loveless and lost, and nothing good or happy or fortunate ever seems to happen to them. Don’t believe it? Just ask them…
It’s a dead-simple thing, really: Luck is a choice. Luck is a modality, a way of operating, a thing you can switch on in an instant and then enjoy its throb and heat and pulse forever and ever until you die, like a cosmic rabbit vibrator for your soul…
“Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected. As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. Lucky people, on the other hand, are more relaxed and open, which means they see what is there.”
See? Obvious. But there’s a catch: Despite its simplicity, it’s not at all easy to change modes and switch that luck energy on. After all, misery is addictive. Millions of people are deeply attached to their suffering, their haphazard convictions, their inability to see how their own nervous monofocus and attachment to particular goals or obsessive desires might be blocking out all manner of opportunity right here and now, in the white-hot immediate moment. [Read more...]
Balos Bay, Gramvousa, Crete,Greece
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
In the journal entries recorded in subsequent weeks and months, we meet with no passages quite so ornate or imposing as this epiphany entered on August 13, today, in 1851…
Thoreau made the following entry under the heading “Drifting”:
“Drifting in a sultry day on the sluggish waters of the pond, I almost cease to live – and begin to be. A boat-man stretched on the deck of his craft, and dallying with the noon, would be as apt an emblem of eternity for me, as the serpent with his tail in his mouth. I am never so prone to lose my identity. I am dissolved in the haze.”
~ Professor Alan D. Hodder, Thoreau’s Ecstatic Witness (p.63). From Henry David Thoreau’s journal entries on August 13, 1851.
You’re always in a rush,
or else you’re too exhausted to have a proper conversation.
the long hours,
the broken sleep
have all crept into your being and
become part of you,
so everyone can see it,
in your posture,
the way you move and talk.
~ Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
Eric is four. Relentless. “Come on Dad. It’s time to go swimming.” Pulling on my hand. “Come on Dad. Dad, come on!”
The marble floor in the bathroom is cool and smooth on our bare feet. I watch him struggle tugging on his suit. His little white bottom contrasting against his milk chocolate tan lines. He lets out a whimper in frustration as he can’t pull on his swim shirt.
We step outside.
We had lived in Miami for four years. The sweltering summer heat was still a shock. Swallowing up oxygen. Mixing with the heavy pool chlorine…filling nostrils and lungs.
10am. 91F. And there is still August to go.
Wake up with the sunrise. And chill. In Tortolla, British Virgin Islands. Right now. (I wish)
“I also painted a study of a seascape, nothing but a bit of sand, sea, sky, grey and lonely—sometimes I feel a need for that silence—where there’s nothing but the grey sea—with an occasional seabird. But otherwise, no other voice than the murmur of the waves.”
Source/Credits: Jan Stewart
(Note to Self: Hmmmmmmm.)
Here are some excerpts from a Dailymail.co.uk article titled: When the weekend ends: 4:13pm on Sunday is when we get the blues ahead of the working week.
- Anxiety about the working week ahead officially starts at 4.13pm on a Sunday, according to a poll.
- Four out of ten adults admit that their Sunday is spent feeling anxious and full of dread.
- The mild sense of depression begins half way through the afternoon and continues into the evening.
- Some 44 per cent of us are jealous of our colleagues’ weekend escapades – not helped by the fact that 75 per cent of us don’t bother to leave the house on Sundays.
- Sundays should be a day to relax and enjoy the last of the weekend break but the results show that people are instead spending their Sundays thinking about work for the week ahead, so they are the most dreaded day of the week. [Read more...]
Source: Thank you The Best Travel Photos. The Ocean Bungalows in The Maldives.
“The way my Sunday afternoons go, I end up doing a little bit of various things, none very well. It’s a struggle to concentrate on any one thing. This particular day, everything seems to be going right. I think, Today I’ll read this book, listen to these records, answer these letters. Today, for sure, I’ll clean out my desk drawers, run errands, wash the car for once. But two o’clock rolls around, three o’clock rolls around, gradually dusk comes on, and all my plans are blown. I haven’t done a thing; I’ve been lying around on the sofa the whole day, same as always.”
Murakami is one of my favorite authors (Kafka on the Shore; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Norwegian Wood). In addition to being an award winning and prolific writer, he’s a marathoner and triathlete. If he lands here on Sunday afternoons, I’m good. :)
Related Murakami Posts:
The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.
“…New research this month finds that the more time someone spends sitting, the shorter and less robust his or her life may be. The findings were sobering: Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes. Looking more broadly, they concluded that an adult who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV. Those results hold true even for people who exercise regularly. It appears a person who does a lot of exercise but watches six hours of TV every night might have a similar mortality risk as someone who does not exercise and watches no TV…” [Read more...]
Flight to Costa Rica: $915.00
4 nights lodging: $405.00
Time with a Sloth: Priceless
Fifteen years ago, I would have told you to get out of my office (get out of my face) and stop wasting my time. 10 years ago, I would have called “bulls-” on this malarkey. Today, the image above calms me. And I’ve come to believe that I need this…It’s good for me. It’s good for the team around me. (But let’s not get too excited. I’m a toddler here. I’m on the 3rd step of a 107 step program.) And since it has now been endorsed by the Truth, the Wall Street Journal, I’m in. (:) Lao Tzu (604 BC – 531 BC): “A Journey of a Thousand Miles Takes a Single Step”…Time to take that step… [Read more...]
You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Other related Kafka posts:
We were overdue for a Zeke post.
That’s our Zeke on the right. He’ll be five years old in December. That’s Ralph on the left. Ralph is two and he’s Zeke’s “BFF.”
They are both Vizslas but Ralph comes from Hungarian lineage – bigger boned, bigger paws and carrying the squared off handsome look of Sean Connery.
Ralph is not much of a swimmer but he gobbles up a whole lot of earth in a hurry. Zeke, ever the optimizer, can’t catch Ralph in a dead heat and cuts corners to run Ralph down.
They walk together 3-4x a week and have become a common sight around our neighborhood. Despite his size advantage, Ralph is deferential to his adopted “older brother.” He greets Zeke with kisses each time he comes over for his walk.
These two keep a smile on my face long after they are gone for their walk – Mother Nature power washing me with her warmth, her beauty and wave upon wave of dog happiness.
Good Sunday morning…
Photo Credit: Thank you Susan.
Related Zeke Posts:
The Gentlest and Greatest Friend of Moon and Winds. Basho, 1644 – 1694
Many years ago there went wandering through Japan, sometimes on the back of a horse, sometimes afoot, in poor pilgrim’s clothes, the kindest, most simple hearted of men…Basho, friend of moon and winds. Though Basho was born of one of the noblest classes in Japan, and might have been welcome in palaces, he chose to wander, and to be comrade and teacher of men and women, boys and girls in all different stations of life, from the lowest to the highest. Basho bathed in the running brooks, rested in shady valleys, sought shelter from sudden rains under some tree on the moor, and sighed with the country folk as he watched the cherry blossoms in their last pink shower, fluttering down from the trees. Now he slept at some country inn, stumbling in at its door at nightfall, wearied from long hours of travelling, yet never too tired to note the lovely wisteria vine, drooping its delicate lavender blossoms over the veranda. Sometimes he slept in the poor hut of a peasant, but most often his bed was out-of-doors, and his pillow a stone.
When Basho came upon a little violet hiding shyly in the grass on a mountain pathway, it whispered its secret to him. “Modesty, gentleness, and simplicity!” it said. “These are the truly beautiful things.”
Glistening drops of dew on the petal of a flower had voice and a song for him likewise. “Purity,” they sang, “is the loveliest thing in life.
The pine tree, fresh and ever green amid winter’s harshest storms, spoke staunchly of hardy manhood; the mountains had their message of patience, the moon its song of glory! Rivers, forests, waterfalls, all told their secrets to Basho, and these secrets that Nature revealed to him, he loved to show to others, for the whole of living of life was to him one great poem, as of some holy service in the shadow of a temple.
“Real poetry,” said Basho, “is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.” And whenever he saw one of his young students being rude, in a fit of anger, or otherwise acting unworthily, he would gently lay his hand on the arm of the youth and say; “But this is not poetry! This is not poetry.”
~ Olive Beaupré Miller, A children’s book titled Little Pictures of Japan originally published in 1925
Source: Adapted from thisisnthappiness
- To-Do List (like none you have likely ever seen)…
- My to-do list for today…
- You are a…
- Be Passionate…
- Work-Out Inspiration: 4 Pictures worth > 1000 words
- So, take a moment to ask yourself…
- Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration: Yes, I did…
- Should I Work Out Today?
- Missed your work out yesterday? (this week? this month?) Forgetaboutit…