Author Archive: Julia

Our highest business

“We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life.” — John Cage The post that published one year ago today (linked below) is perhaps the one that has the greatest personal significance to me.  Since I wrote that post, one of the three in that picture is …

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Under the giving snow

“Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.” — Terri Guillemets I find it hard to believe that as I’m writing this (on March 7, two weeks before publication) I STILL see snow on the ground outside!  It’s melting in places, but most of the grass is still covered with it, and those nasty-dirty drifts …

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Long-distance friendships

“There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.” —  widely attributed Diana Cortes, about whom I could find no reliable information One of the silver linings to the sorrow of having to leave friends every …

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The best of now

“No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here.” ― John Greenleaf Whittier No matter what is going on in your life right now, this day holds many hidden gifts.  Which ones will you discover? One year ago today: Not …

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Ten thousand truths

“There are joys which long to be ours.  God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”  — Henry Ward Beecher A year ago my post …

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What anyone wants to remember

“A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it.” — Carol Shields “A happy childhood can’t be cured.  Mine’ll hang around my neck like a rainbow…”— Hortense Calisher I’ve written before about how it can be difficult being a child or young person, and that’s more true for some than for others.  Most of …

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Intelligence having fun

“Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.” — George Scialabba Have you ever heard of rock balancing?  Neither had I until I saw this guy. One beautiful sunny day in San Francisco, he was practicing his hobby for all passers-by to enjoy free of charge (though some were leaving him tips).  I don’t know who …

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Courage is about doing

“Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” — Eddie Rickenbacker “Rickenbacker had learned to manage fear.  It was one of the main reasons for his success…Eddie had acclimated himself to that great numbing terror of flying into a fray where it was nearly certain someone …

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The art of counting

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” — Harold Coffin I often have a problem with envy, especially when friends who are my age start describing their carefree “empty nest” travels and activities.  After nearly 30 years of caretaking and managing the lives of our children (beginning when …

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One of those March days

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” — Charles Dickens Today (two weeks before this is published) Michael commented that spring had been flirting with us.  That’s a perfect description of the past …

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Personal charm

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”  — Henry Van Dyke I’ve written here before about my friend Maggie and her family, and the happy memories I have of them that go back forty years — it’s hard for me to believe we first met in 1974!  Obviously, …

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Try waking up

“Anyone can slay a dragon…but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.” ― Brian Andreas In June 2012, just three months before Jeff got the first of what would be several diagnoses of cancer, we were seated in a Bar Harbor restaurant looking forward …

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Like one of these

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” — Jesus Christ (as quoted in Matthew 6:28-29, NIV) I grew up hearing this verse, and always …

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Read or learned or picked up

“One of the great joys of being a librarian is that it is the last refuge of the renaissance person — everything you have ever read or learned or picked up is likely to come in handy.” — GraceAnne DeCandido Sometimes I think the term “renaissance person” is too loosely used in the modern sense, …

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Anticipation, remembrance, and reality

“Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage.” — Regina Nadelson “Just get on any major highway, and eventually it will dead-end in a Disney parking area large enough to have its own climate, populated by large nomadic families who have …

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Some day you will be old enough

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis My friend Amy commented here recently that she still believes in Cinderella and knights on white horses and miracles.  Maybe that’s why she’s such a great traveling companion.  Real-life castles are often old and decaying, but she can see …

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The seriousness of a child

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” — Heraclitus There’s a lot of talk about how childhood is magical and carefree, and I agree that it was (or is) a wondrous time for many of us.  Yet even with the most advantageous childhood, I think the first …

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My sunset sky

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ― Rabindranath Tagore There are a lot of things I really like about getting older.  Based on what others have said or written, I know I’m not the only one who has experienced …

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Only the beginning

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” — Ivy Baker Priest Over the past 18 months, I’ve gotten a lot of practice at re-framing how I think about things.  I’ve had to do quite a bit of that for most of my life, …

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Fling off thy sadness

Awake, thou wintry earth –Fling off thy sadness!Fair vernal flowers, laugh forthYour ancient gladness! — Thomas Blackburn As I write this, I keep glancing out my glass doors, and I see there is still snow on the ground.  But the sun is shining brightly, and the snow is melting, slowly but surely. It was raining …

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Anything created

“Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” — Antoni Gaudi One year ago today I published a post that is one of my favorites, because it includes a link to a delightful PBS re-mix featuring Fred Rogers.  It’s all about how “you can grow ideas in the garden of …

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Visual surprise

“Visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves.” — Derek Walcott There’s nothing like a good dose of the Caribbean to warm and brighten the dullest March.  There are places more elegant, more prestigious, more affluent or trendy, but I’ve never …

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When we sip tea

“When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity.” —  Alexandra Stoddard With all the bad weather this winter has brought us, it’s definitely tea time.  So I couldn’t resist repeating my offer from one year ago today (which you can read about at the link below). Anyone who would like me to …

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As the magnet finds iron

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  — Henry Ward Beecher As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another …

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Something wonderful

“I had begun to feel that the days that stretched out in front of me were a dark, terrifying wilderness. As I wrote about moments along the way, everything looked more friendly, and I discovered that the days are only days. I received and gave love as I untangled my thoughts through the act of …

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