Author Archive: Julia

A vast university

“The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.”  — James Thurber People who love Paris and didn’t love school might not agree with Thurber, but I connected with his description immediately.  …

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With looks and money

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.” — P. J. O’Rourke I love fruit!  A good, ripe nectarine or some cold watermelon can instantly improve a hot summer day (or even a cold winter day, assuming such fruits …

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For the good guys

“Unfortunately, it is often the bad guys who play the leading roles in our memory…Let’s write a script for the good guys…It will be a musical, full of drama, laughter and tears, sorrows and triumphs, and it will end with a joyful song of praise and thanks.” — Barbara Gill, in Changed by a Child, …

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A morning inside you

“There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light.” — Rumi One recent morning, when I was up early, I stepped out onto our deck and was surrounded by the beautiful song of birds and the sound of the nearby creek flowing.  Since I had the time, I grabbed my camera to …

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To this day

“Our wedding was many years ago.  The celebration continues to this day.” — Gene Perret This month Jeff and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.  Each year for us is a distinct milestone now, and with each anniversary that passes, we have more reasons to gratefully celebrate that we are still here together, living and …

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Near the water’s edge

“Children instinctively choose to build near the water’s edge knowing that the water to sand ratio is vital, and I believe that they also know that at the end of the exercise their hard work will be reclaimed by the incoming tide. Even very young children know that they cannot take their creation home – …

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Age has no reality

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” — Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Ah, but the physical world …

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Living forward

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” — Søren Kierkegaard We’ve talked often here about the importance of surrendering the idea of control, and learning to make the best of whatever comes.  Setting a course for the future is wise and even necessary, but any plans we make are based …

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Your great-grandmother wouldn’t

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” — Michael Pollan As a carb-craving sweet-toothed treat junkie, I must admit that learning to eat my vegetables has been an ongoing effort for me.  There are a few I really enjoy: tomatoes, spinach, corn on the cob, field peas or most other legumes, preferably fresh …

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The invisible crop

“…when you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back; the more one comes to know them, the more one seeds them with the invisible crop of memories and associations that will be waiting for when you come back, while new places offer up new thoughts, new possibilities. Exploring the world is one the …

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The ideal of calm

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.” ― Jules Renard A year ago today, my post was about the exotic and mostly unknown world of undersea creatures.  Today I’m thinking of the wonders that are often hiding in plain sight, among animals we see so often that we scarcely notice them. Dogs, cats, …

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The articulate audible voice

“In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.” — Thomas Carlyle There’s at least one realm where the past, present and future really do co-exist, and that is in the world of …

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If you removed the rocks

“The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks.” — Fred Beck I’ve written about flowers here too many times to remember, but today I’d like to acknowledge that life is also enhanced by those objects and events that are less flashy, less exciting, and maybe somewhat difficult. What, after all, would be …

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Grace will lead

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”— John Newton Two weeks ago today, I was able to worship with our church family for the first time in a month.  Because Matt still had fluid on his lungs and …

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The suffering

Your silent tents of green We deck with fragrant flowers; Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours.    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow For Earl Glenn Cobeil, his family, and all whose suffering and sacrifice we remember today. One year ago on Memorial Day: Their courage This post was first published seven years ago …

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Perversely human

“It is a perversely human perception that animals in their native habitat are running wild.” — Robert Brault This quote started me thinking about the terms “wild animals” and “in the wild.”  I concluded that the word “wild” has mutated into a variety of meanings, and is often applied to human behaviors that would never …

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Sunshine, food and medicine

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.” — Luther Burbank As a person who tends to be cheap frugal, spending money on fresh flowers is something that doesn’t come easily for me.  But the benefits of having them around more than make up for …

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The voice of the sea

“The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.” — Kate Chopin The California Coast is wild and beautiful, rocky and cold, pounded relentlessly by crashing surf.  Though much of it is …

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A wonderful position

“I’m in a wonderful position: I’m unknown, I’m underrated, and there’s nowhere to go but up.” ― Pierre S. DuPont IV I loved this quote the moment I saw it, and I thought immediately of how it feels to be a child or a young person.  Though few, if any, children will think in precisely …

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The rest of the mind

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” — William Penn I can’t remember anyone ever describing me as a quiet person, but even so, I am continually amazed at how noisy the world is becoming.  Jeff and I can hardly …

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Imaginary walking

“One kind of walking which I do not recall seeing mentioned anywhere in the literature of the subject is imaginary walking.” ― Edwin V. Mitchell This post is for Bindu, who took me on an imaginary walk via her blog almost a year ago. A couple of  weeks ago when Matt and I had been …

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An early-rising, hard-working city

“For the people in government, rather than the people who pester it, Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.” — P. J. O’Rourke Say what you want …

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Recognize each other

“Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.  People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.” — Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, in …

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Mere living

“How good is man’s life, the mere living!” — Robert Browning Can we really comprehend the meaning of the phrase “mere living?” If so, probably never as clearly as when we come face to face with the reality of our life’s inevitable end, whether soon or years from now.  I wish for you today a …

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Colorful beacons

“Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts.” — Dodinsky On the Saturday after Matt had open heart surgery, he seemed to be doing well enough that I decided to take Jeff’s suggestion and go down to the Capitol area to visit …

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