Work: Pull like water buffalo

black and white,photography

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

~ Marge Piercy, To Be Of Use


Notes:

5:00 PM Bell: Let’s Go!

gif-kitten-cat-cute-run


Source: gifak.net

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!

funny-gif-fall-slip-TGIF-T.G.I.F.


Source: Babyanimalpics

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day


Notes:

It’s Been A Long Day

dog

Zeke and his Dad have had a long day…


Thank you Rachel.

5:00 PM Bell!

formula-1-racing-gif


Source: amjayes

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

vizsla-dog-pet-funny-gif


Source: gifak (*This is not our Viszla Zeke. He would have snagged this…)

What’s it gonna be today?

coin-flip-gif

Good Day. Or Bad Day.

(Who Chooses?)

Rush. Hurry. Spin. Pause.

(Who Chooses?)

Self-flagellation. Empathy. Gratitude.

(Who Chooses?)


Image Source: YourEyesBlazeOut

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day-wednesday


I continue to be awed by my fellow bloggers in the WordPress community. Here’s another fine example.

Uncle Spike from Uncle Spike’s Adventures was searching “Photography” tags on WordPress when he came across the photo I shared in my Veteran’s Day post (Honor).  He “Liked” my post. I noted that his Gravatar had the camel photo above and my antenna went up.  I sent him an email asking for consent to share the photograph and we traded emails. He explained that he took the photograph north of Rumuruti in Kenya in 2007 and that “he rode this Beastie for 8 hours!” 

I read his About page and was hooked.  Here’s a small morsel:

“As you sit there reading this, I’m having a bash at fruit farming in Turkey, blogging and somehow I’ve also become a proof-reader for academic papers, conference articles and post-grad theses. It’s a curious mix I’ll admit…Nowadays, I’m within sniffing distance of 50, but always very busy, constantly reinventing. Being honest, I reckon I’m pretty content with life…”

Check out more here: Uncle Spikes Adventures.

Of course, prior to this interaction, the clock was ticking for the Wednesday Hump Day post deadline.

Coincidence? Serendipity? Synchronicity?

And Bam, here comes Uncle Spike to the rescue…


Note: Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again


Plant myself at the gates of Hope

woman-portrait-hair-black-and-white

I have a friend who traffics in words. She is not a minister, but a psychiatrist in the health clinic at a prestigious women’s college. We were sitting once not long after a student she had known, and counseled, committed suicide in the dormitory there. My friend, the doctor, the healer, held the loss very closely in those first few days, not unprofessionally, but deeply, fully — as you or I would have, had this been someone in our care.

At one point (with tears streaming down her face), she looked up in defiance (this is the only word for it) and spoke explicitly of her vocation, as if out of the ashes of that day she were renewing a vow or making a new covenant (and I think she was). She spoke explicitly of her vocation, and of yours and mine. She said, “You know I cannot save them. I am not here to save anybody or to save the world. All I can do — what I am called to do — is to plant myself at the gates of Hope. Sometimes they come in; sometimes they walk by. But I stand there every day and I call out till my lungs are sore with calling, and beckon and urge them in toward beautiful life and love…

There’s something for all of us there, I think. Whatever our vocation, we stand, beckoning and calling, singing and shouting, planted at the gates of Hope. This world and our people are beautiful and broken, and we are called to raise that up — to bear witness to the possibility of living with the dignity, bravery, and gladness that befits a human being. That may be what it is to “live our mission.”

~ Victoria Safford, excerpt from “The Small Work in the Great Work


Notes:


5:00 p.m. Bell: Let’s Get Home

funny,Friday,weekend


Source: Animated Gifs

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

TGIF-T.G.I.F.-funny-fire


Source: Bunsen

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

caleb-camel-hump-day

Caleb visits the Pittsburgh Zoo. Check out his sweet Serape…

Check out his sexy legs in the frontal shot below: [Read more…]

Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri….Sat.

gif-fly-rush-crash-Saturday


Source:  via Flying Dream

5:00 PM Bell

snoopy-gif-tgif


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

panda-gif


Day in the life of a leader…


Source: gifak (administering medicine to Panda)

It’s Been A Long Day

sun conure


Notes:

Driving up I-95. With Gull.

seagull

It was three weeks ago, 6 p.m. and I’m on my evening commute home. I-95 is snarled in both directions. Heavy, slow-moving metal edging its way up, a car length at a time. I’m looking ahead to find a break. I see none. Waze flashes an update: “Your drive time is extended by 10 minutes. Accident ahead.”

But that’s not the story. No. That’s not what drifts in during my 7-mile run on Sunday. It’s not what emerges during a meeting late Monday afternoon. And it’s not what’s hanging around the edges, gently finding its place among the mental chatter of Work.

It’s a white speck 75 car lengths ahead, hovering a steady five feet above the sea of car tops.  A white speck, moving against traffic. First the speck. Then Wings. Then the gull.

The bird’s line is a straight shot.

Seagulls that I know, float in wind tunnels, they surf, they lallygag on shorelines. Not this one. This Gull’s wings are flapping, beating fiercely and maintaining the rhythm of an Olympic rowing crew free of its coxswain:  I need to get there. Quickly. I need to get there. Now.

It’s 15 car lengths now. The bird is keeping its line, passing under a bridge without interruption. Jet Gull – – at low altitude and maintaining flight speed. I’m locked in.

I bend my head to see him. He doesn’t look down, or around or even shift his glance. Focus. Hurry. Get there. Now.

Blink. He’s in my rear view mirror. Gull. Wings. A Speck. Gone.

My gaze turns back to the sea of cars in front of me. Gull, where are you going? Why the Rush?

Its 4am. Today, Hump Day.  Weeks later. I’m flicking through my Reader and I come across This.

A seagull froze, motionless, in the sky – lost in thought. Then suddenly it remembered something important, perhaps that life is as short as a blink, and went dashing off a full pelt.

Mikhail Shishkin, from The Light and the Dark

Synchronicity? Coincidence? Serendipity?

Hmmmmmm.


Notes:

Riding Metro North. With Massenet.

42nd-new-york-city

I’m on the first train. I’m with my commuters deep into the morning papers. The silence is broken for three short intervals – the conductor collecting tickets and two stops on the Express. Otherwise, a library. 55 minutes of heaven.

Yet, the silence is thundering.

EBOLA. Mid-term elections. School shootings. Shooting rampage in the Canadian Parliament. Ukraine. Work-budget-goals. Man attacks NYC cops with a hatchet. Markets tumbling. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Hong Kong protesters. Millions of air bag recalls. Stepfather Charged After 3-Year-Old Girl Beaten to Death at Brooklyn Shelter. OMG. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Unable to find something Good, I put away the news, close my eyes, lean my head against the window and drift into Grand Central.

I twist in my ear buds, first right and then left. I exit the train to 42nd street with hundreds of early morning commuters.

Zibby introduces Jesse to classical music in Liberal Arts; DK had no such Muse. Yet, the impact is no less Divine. The biting winds of darkness and doubt whistling through the skull are placed on Pause. My 12-minute cross-town walk is filled with ethereal beauty, a peace, a calmness, a lightness. The delivery trucks. The yellow cabs, honey bees buzzing in and out. The shop owner opening the gate. A construction worker taking a long pull on his cigarette. A student sipping coffee in an empty Diner. The leaves on a lonely tree rustling from the gust of a passing bus. All of it, a symphony. [Read more…]

5:00 p.m. Bell: Fire up your engines…

TGIF-plane-take-off


Source: Dope Gifs

T.G.I.F.: One more day on treadmill

funny-gif-hamster-wheel-under-gif

And if you are really tired, work it lying down…


Source: themetapicture.com

 

Hump Day: Is it Friday yet?

hump-day-camel-funny


Source: Marie. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

5:00 P.M. Bell

gif-dance


Source: Youreyesblazeout

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-penguin-gif


And don’t miss a full series of terrific penguin gifs here: observation deck

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

funny-camel-selfie-friends

Here’s Caleb taking a selfie with this buds!


Notes: Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan & thank you Horty for sharing this photo. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

Monday Mantra

monday-mantra-start


Source: Justlyrics (from “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Mary Lambert)

5:00 P.M. Bell: Going Home

black and white, photography,


Source: amjayes

These feet are bangin’ the floor this morning

funny-morning-inspirational


Thank you Kurt @ culturaloffeirng

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. It’s off to work we go

work


Source: afantasybasedonreality

Some days…

photography,blue

Some days one needs to hide from possibility.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry


Notes: Photograph via YourEyesBlazeOut

Moved.

Licia-Ronzulli-child-work

She has been coming to work with her mother since she was just six weeks old. And now it seems three-year-old Vittoria Cerioli, daughter of Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, is taking an ever more active interest in mummy’s work as she joined her in a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday. Stealing the show at this month’s session in eastern France, adorable Vittoria took part in proceedings as she lifted her arm up along with her mother to vote.

Don’t miss the full set of pictures here: Enchanting Little Girl Following In The Footsteps of her MEP Mother


Take the test. How do you measure up?

Maximizer or satificer

91 total points. (If you are higher than 45, you are a Maximizer.)

“Most people fall somewhere in the middle.”

“Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing. “Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”).

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,”

“Maximizers landed better jobs. Their starting salaries were, on average, 20% higher than those of the satisficers, but they felt worse about their jobs.”

“Satisficers also have high standards, but they are happier than maximizers, he says. Maximizers tend to be more depressed and to report a lower satisfaction with life”

My Score: 60. (Oh Boy)

Read full article in wsj.com: How You Make Decisions Says a Lot About How Happy You Are

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Who knew!?!)

Who knew that Caleb was ticklish!


Notes: Thank you Todd Lohenry @ Bright, Shiny Objects for sharing this clip. Loved it.  Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again

5:00 p.m. Bell: Heading Home

drive-car-vintage-work-home-tgif


Source: amjayes via preciousandfregilethings

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-gif-bird-tennis-ball


Source: themetapicture.com (thanks Susan)

It’s Been A Long Day

dog-funny-bath-gif


Source: gifak

It’s moving day

diet,exercise,walk,run,walking,running,weight loss,inspiration,steps

This is what the Jawbone’s surveys show are the average steps per day for users of fitness step counters. (Saturday biggest day. Sunday, day of rest, apparently.)

Now here is my reality for the week of 9/8/14 based on steps counted by my Vivofit Fitness tracker:

[Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!

hippopotamus


Source: themetapicture.com

If you can sing about it, that’s a kind of answer


Leonard Cohen turned 80 this week. His new album, “Popular Problems“, was released on Tuesday. He was interviewed by Mike Ayers for an article in wsj.com titled: Leonard Cohen’s ‘Bad Habit’. A few excerpts:

Q: The new record is called “Popular Problems.” Are these what we are all up against?

A: I thought it as a general description of what we’re all up against. Those are the questions: life, death, war, peace, space, God. All those matter, and rather facetiously, I describe them as “popular problems.”

Q: All of us think about that stuff daily and there are no real answers.

A: No.

Q: But you can sing about it?

A: If you can sing about it, that’s a kind of answer.

Q: What still draws you to making records these days?

A: You know, it’s a bad habit…Well, after a while you can’t break it. Employment is a very crucial matter for everyone. Unemployment is the most sinister disease of our society. To feel fully employed, it’s not something you want to relinquish or abandon. So that’s my work and I’m able to do it, God willing, I’ll be able to do it until I can’t do it any longer. I have no plans to abandon it. [Read more…]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

hump day, camel,funny,caleb,geico


Source: Mydestination.com. Hump Day Related Post: Hit it Again.

Over-The-Top

stress-worry-gif

[…] It may be that it’s not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it’s how you react to the smaller, everyday stress…The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years…People who always perceived their daily life to be over-the-top stressful were three times more likely to die over the period of study than people who rolled with the punches and didn’t find daily life very stressful

Some people get frantic sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, worried about being late or not being able to do what they hoped in a timely manner. Others simply take the time to sit back, listen to music and appreciate the break as some quiet time. Now, getting upset in traffic once is no big deal. But if things like that happen all the time and the response is always getting really upset, then the harmful effects of stress can become toxic….

…If you are one of those chronically upset worriers, Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, has a prescription for you…Read about his three magic pills here:

~ NPR – Patti Neighmond: Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You


Notes: Thank you Lori for the NPR article. This hit the mark.  Image Source: allpeoplecanfly

 

Stop. And…

beginning-purpose-meaning


Source: RudyOldeSchulte

Riding Metro-North. 17 hours and counting.

black and white, photography

Thursday. September 18.

I’m up at 3:00 a.m., and operating on four and a half hours of sleep. Even this Bull-Head understands that this, This, is unsustainable.

Insomnia. A discipline, unlike dieting, I’ve perfected. I now understand, her words, Marina Tsvetaeva, and their meaning.

“After a night of insomnia
the body gets weaker,
Becomes dear but no one’s —
not even your own.”

I look out the window. It’s not dawn but pre-dawn. Moonless. Dark. And Still. Me, the crickets and the hum of the electrical current running the overhead lamp.

I rifle through my schedule for the day.  6:00 a.m. train. Breakfast and lunch with colleagues. A team dinner in the evening. Calls and meetings jamming all white space in between. 18 hours from now, I can take my suit and shoes off and crawl back into bed.  I blink my eyes. Once. Twice. Three times. I cannot clear the blur. I close them and rest for a moment.  Give me 20 minutes and I’ll be good – – fully functioning. Just 20 minutes.

The day landed as expected, full, including two nightcaps for this teetotaler after dinner. I pull the maraschino cherry from my cocktail and drop it in my mouth, when a colleague lets fly: “V.O. Manhattan, huh? My Father used to drink those.” I smile, proud not to have taken the bait. How socially acceptable and behaved you’ve become. There was a time you’d come across the table and level the score and then some. An eye for an eye, a leg, and an arm. [Read more…]

5:00 p.m. Bell: Fly Home!

Everyones-Object-work-for-a-Bird


Napoleon Dynamite Source – Chicagonow

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-cute-pig-laying-water-bowl-1


Source: Themetapicture.com (Thanks Susan)

Big Day? Be Brave.

funny-office-work-leadership-1funny-office-work-leadership


Source: peacansandies

How was your day?

charlie-brown-sigh-long-day


Source: Stepsonmysunlitfloor

5:00 PM Bell: Hit the gates!

funny-gif-bunny-island-running-scary


Rabbit Island in Japan (via Themetapicture.com). Read more on Rabbit Island at the Guardian: Rabbit Island: A Japanese Holiday Resort for Bunnies

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

penguin-funny-fall-gif


Source: gifak-net

Driving. Just another morning. Rollin’ down I-95.

driving-gif

6:30am.

Traffic is building.

I turn the corner to the I-95 on-ramp. Man in coveralls is standing next to his graffiti stained Seafood Delivery truck. He glances up at me, pauses briefly, and then continues to flick through a bulging wad of bills in his right hand. (You declaring that income, Friend?)

There’s a semi truck in front. A Friendly’s ad adorns its back door: “Eat More Ice Cream.” (What kind of cruel joke is this? You friend, need no more ice cream. Saliva begins to build up, quicker than the traffic flow. I’m worse than Pavlov’s dog. I could use a tall, thick Coldstone Vanilla shake. Right now. I’d skip lunch if I could indulge. I would. I might.)

I come up on a gargantuan, two-trailer Fed Ex semi. Driver sitting up high. The truck gleams in the morning sun.  (Bucket list: Need to drive a Semi cross-country. Is he delivering new iPhone 6+s to Manhattan Apple Stores? Gadget man starts to twitch.)

I pass downtown Stamford and see the RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) logo towering over the city.  (Well laddies. Is it time to cut the cord from Mother England?) [Read more…]