June 15, 2016 by 36 Comments
6:32 a.m. I exit Grand Central onto 47th. I glance at my watch, plenty of time for the 7 a.m. breakfast.
The crane’s steel arm groans and stretches up four floors. One worker guides the load of sheet rock in through the window. Another waves off the early morning commuters with his red caution flag. He looks me in the eye and directs me to the other side of the street.
Have you ever walked this side of 47th? Ever? Eight years. 100’s of cross-town walks. Zero recollection of ever walking on the other side.
I glance over. It’s now free of construction. The wind whistles. Come back. Now. Come Home to me.
I lean right but resist. No. Not today. Live dangerously DK. Go way out on a limb.
The legs and feet are heavy. I trudge on alien ground. The Amygdala twitches.
I pass delivery upon delivery truck offloading the day’s supplies.
“Fiji Water. Fiji. Untouched by man. Every drop is green.”
I pass the jewelry district
“Time in Motion – Watch Repair”
June 1, 2016 by 37 Comments
It’s 7:38 am.
The train pulls into Grand Central.
I lift briefcase – oh, oh. It’s unusually light.
Meeting notes and reports were left behind on the nightstand.
Late jump. A mere hour difference from your habitual start and you’re unhinged.
First morning call is scheduled at 8:15.
Maps signals a 30 minute walk from Grand Central to the Office.
Cab v. Foot?
I check the vitals.
Temperature? Rain? Cross-town traffic? Mood? Criticality of call?
Vitals check out.
I can beat 30 on foot.
Heavy construction lines the arteries, 48th cross-town and 7th downtown. Tourists crowd the sidewalks and hover over the filming of the Live Morning show – a shapely aerobics instructor flanked by two middle aged men wearing hot green lycra pants.
I glance at Maps. I’ve lost time. Arrival time now estimated at 8:13 for the 8:15 meeting.
I accelerate the pace, and this against a wall of foot traffic heading uptown. A hurdler off-step, I hit each Don’t Walk sign.
I glance at Maps: 8:17 ETA.
Humidity surges. I loosen tie. My neck moistens the shirt collar. Fresh? Not.
The morning sun beams. A smooth thin film coats the forehead, legs and back. [Read more…]
March 1, 2016 by 18 Comments
The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.
Let’s go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take the red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water
to your horse.
No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That’s the armor everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.
I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.”
– Naomi Shihab Nye, “Red Brocade” (1952)
January 18, 2016 by 13 Comments
Source: Apple.com landing page (Jan 18, 2016)
December 4, 2015 by 17 Comments
The footage is being widely shared on the Wild Wings Safaris Facebook page – nearly 15,000 shares at the time of this post – and generating feedback that’s almost as touching as the footage. A random sampling of the comments:
- “Leave it to the smart old women to solve the problem!”
- “I feel like the mother was trying to allow he baby to figure it out on its own, but the other elephant was impatient. Elephants are stinking adorable! And they stand on their tippy toes!”
- “I wish humans would look after their kids so well. Why oh why do we treat animals so badly?”
- “Maybe it’s the mom in me, but watching it just stressed me out even though I new he was gonna get out.”
- Aren’t animals awesome? We need to realize they have feelings like us.”
Source: Grindtv (Thank you Susan)
December 17, 2014 by 22 Comments
Loved this. And can’t seem to get Andrew Gold’s song out of my head:
November 11, 2014 by 17 Comments
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”
- The Reverend Victoria Safford is the minister of White Bear Unitarian Church, in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, and the author of Walking Toward Morning (Skinner House, 2003) and With or Without Candlelight (Skinner House, 2009).
- Quote excerpt is from Brainpickings via Paul Loeb’s book: The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear. (Basic Books)
- Image Source: Precious Things
November 2, 2014 by 23 Comments
James Harrison, New Statesman: The Foodbank Dilemma:
“…A young clean-shaven man leads an older, grey-haired, battered-by-life-version-of-himself to where Tony stands. Tony greets them kindly and asks the younger man who referred them to the food bank. There’s a moment of startled silence. Then the younger man says gruffly, “It’s not for me, it’s for my dad”, and looks down at the floor. The colour flushing his face makes clear his embarrassment…”
“…School holidays are the hardest time because you have to feed your children three times a day. That’s why I am coming here now…”
“…Normally I eat porridge in the morning to fill myself up and then often I don’t eat at all myself in the evenings. But today is the start of the kids’ holidays and so they don’t get the school meals, they have to eat all their food at home and I just can’t manage…”
“…Not having enough food is a very private issue…It is an issue of private shame. People eat mostly within the home, and so what people eat, and the ways in which it is inadequate, people keep to themselves. And it is an issue of private suffering. If you are not getting enough food, or the right kind of food, you absorb the misery yourself. The cost is embodied by you. It is your body that becomes unhealthy…”
“…people turned to food aid as “a strategy of last resort”, when they have exhausted all other possibilities, including cutting back on food and turning to family and friends. No one I met used a foodbank lightly. Louise had been skipping dinners for months before she went to Coventry Foodbank. She finally attended so she could feed her children during the school holiday…”
“…I saw a young woman break down into floods of tears when the food was brought out. She was overwhelmed by the idea that she could feed her family properly that night…”
“…Another man, too shy to talk to me, told the volunteers he had walked miles across the city to get a referral and then a few miles more for his food that afternoon. He didn’t have enough money for the bus fare. He sat, exhausted, cradling a cup of tea, rocking backwards and forwards, before making the same trip home again. This time laden down with his bags of food…”
“…I am down to the last pound or so on my electricity card and I am really starting to worry about that. And so I have been going to bed really hungry for a week or so. It’s my second trip. I was really worried about coming the first time. I was ashamed, but everyone has made me feel so welcome, and told me not to worry. This time I feel more comfortable. I hope my benefit issues will get sorted out soon so I don’t have to come again…”
Read full article here: The Foodbank Dilemma:
Image Credit: shescribes.com
August 5, 2014 by 15 Comments
As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)
— Mahmoud Darwish, “Think of Others”