T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo: (via Newthom)

It’s Been A Long Day

It’s a been a long day. You’ve turned on the tube and flip to a cable news channel. Any news channel will do. MSBC. CNN. Fox.

You expect a deluge of the following:

Amarosa. Secret Tapes. Hush Money. Collusion. Russia. Manafort. Cohen. Yanking Security Clearances. Secret tapes. Rigged Witch Hunt. Michael Avenati. Stormy Daniels. Putin. Cover-ups. Tariffs. Trump Tower Meeting. Lies. Fake News.

Instead, you sit mesmerized watching the media and Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the Daily Press Briefing in a back and forth exchange:

  • Media A: “Sarah: Can you tell us about the President’s plans to improve the math, science and english scores for all of our children?”
  • Media B: “Sarah: Can you tell us what the government is doing to return the 450 migrant children who have been separated from their parents?”
  • Media C: “Sarah: Can you tell us what the Government is doing to prevent the spread of red tide and the killing of hundreds of species of sea life in Florida? And what we’re doing to prevent this from happening again?”
  • Media D: “Sarah: Can you tell us about the President’s plans on improving the state of our nation’s airports, highways, subways and railways?”
  • Media E: “Sarah: Can you tell us what we are doing to stop the spread of the California wildfires?”
  • Media F: “Sarah: Can you tell us what we are doing to protect our children from gun attacks in our schools?”
  • Media G: “Sarah: Can you tell us what we are doing to prosecute the 300 priests who molested 1000’s of children in Pennsylvania over the last 70 years?”

 


Photo: Washington Post

Lightly Child, Lightly


Ms Green didn’t believe her mind
was a dark room full of poisons—
a room cluttered with rags
pills, torn tinsel, perfume
in lavender glass. She got stuck sometimes
inside her mind like a bit of lint
caught in a web meant for a fly…
But today Ms Green learned to reach inside
and touch her own mind, lightly—
her mind more like
a stalled record player playing
one song in deep-grooved vinyl—
today she learned to pick up the needle
and move it a little to the right—

~ Amanda Beth Peery, from “A Poem About Anxiety


Notes:

  • Photograph by Paul Brumit with Sony Turntable
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Walking Cross-Town. With the lid popped off.

“Bring an umbrella. It’s going to rain.”  She follows the weather. She barks out the forecast. It will be 35 years in September, and I’ve found she’s right 50% of the time. And I remind her of the 50% on the wrong side. It keeps the wheels on the bus going round and round. I mumble under my breath: How hard can it rain? Do I really need to haul an umbrella around, another 1.5 pounds in my already overstuffed bag.

I take the umbrella.

It didn’t have to be this tight on time. It really didn’t.  I could have postponed an 8 a.m. conference call, taken the earlier train and given myself ample wiggle room to walk, to take an Uber or to catch a cab. I even thought about it, at length.  But no, No Sir. Why defer, when you can do it now, right now. Pack it tight, pack it in.  The Counselling Blog (I need it / I read it / I won’t admit it) shared a quote yesterday that was shared anonymously:  “I try to contain my crazy but the lid keeps popping off.” I get it. I do.

I have a 10:30 a.m. training session that I am leading with 20 colleagues. The train is scheduled to arrive at Grand Central at 9:59 a.m. It’s 10 minutes late, and it’s a 13-minute walk across town if you hit the street lights just right. Tight. Too tight for a guy who likes to arrive early, set up the room, sit and relax, and review my presentation notes.

I exit Grand Central Station. It’s raining. No. I mean, it’s Raining. Sheets. I stand under a covered area and look for Cabs. Are you kidding? Waiting for a Miracle. I pull up the Uber app and it says no availability for 12 minutes. I don’t have 12 minutes and it would take another 15-20 minutes to get across town in this traffic.

I pop open the umbrella. There are streams of rainwater rushing down the streets into the drains. Monsoon on Madison. Puddles are accumulating at the cross walks. The marble in front of the major hotels is smooth, gray and slick like ice. I need to slow my pace as the umbrella in my right hand is stretching me up, my overstuffed backpack in my left is pulling me down and my smooth, leather soled lace-ups are struggling to stay anchored to the concrete slabs – an off-kilter Rickshaw teetering on a single wheel. Treacherous. [Read more…]

Guess What Day It Is?


Dallol Ethiopia, January 22nd: A camel caravan carrying salt mined by hand is led across a salt plain in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017 near Dallol, Ethiopia. The depression lies 100 metres below sea level and is one of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth. Despite the gruelling conditions, Ethiopians continue a centuries old industry of mining salt from the ground by hand in temperatures that average 34.5 degrees centigrade but have risen to over 50 degrees. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) Thank you Christie!

Notes:  Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

 

Into the mug of morning pour yourself

Into the mug of morning
pour yourself, warm
and dark, your aromatic
presence hugging the hand-formed
divide between inside and out.
Ease from empty into full
until, brim-level, you
rise an swirl, a steamy
mist rejoining its source.

~Sharon Sharp


Notes: Photo: mennyfox55. Poem: Thank you Make Believe Boutique

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Breakfast!


Elephants eat fruits and vegetables at the Wingabaw Elephant Camp on World Elephant Day in Bago Region, Myanmar. (U Aung, Zinhua, wsj.com August 12, 2018)

Sunday Morning

So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one in the end—not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.

~ Brian Doyle, from “Joyas Voladoras


Photo via Your Eyes Blaze Out

Running in Michigan. With a stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

71° F. An intermittent breeze blows off Lake Superior.  Upper Michigan…a half step slower in pace, and a full step-and-a-half ahead in balance.  With skies so blue, clouds so white, water and air so clean, you can taste the Pure emblazoned on the license plates on the cars that pass me by.

I run under the bridge which towers overhead. Rail cars roll out on the ore docks.  A massive freighter sits silently waiting for the iron ore pellets to fall down the chutes into its belly. One can’t pass this scene and not be filled with Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of Edmund of Fitzgerald:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called ‘gitche gumee’
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

I enter Presque Isle Park. I’m hearing horns through my ear buds. Can’t be.  I tuck my earbuds into my pocket and follow the tune. A man, in his 70’s, in a kilt, stands in the woods with his bagpipes – he’s alone and belting out Scotland the Brave. Goosebumps pop on my forearms. I must have Scotland in the gene pool, must have.

Genes. Family history. Family trees. DNA testing. The purpose of this family get-together was to celebrate my Father-in-Law discovering his full Sister on a genetic service. What’s bigger than meeting a sister you never knew you had? [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo: Pentti Sammallahti. Varanasi, India. 1999 (via Newthom)

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