Category Archives: Uncategorized

Something is there

I go out to the pale dunes, to look over the empty spaces of the wilderness.   For something is there, something is there when nothing is there but itself, that is not there when anything else is.  —Mary Oliver There are places where vast emptiness stretches so far as to suggest infinity.  The more deserted …

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After ecstasy

“After ecstasy, the laundry.” — Zen saying Perhaps no quote can so succinctly capture the experience of parenthood, especially in its early stages.  The unsurpassed joy of holding a newborn baby is quickly tempered by the grinding realities of sleep deprivation, miscellaneous messes to clean up and a never-ending pile of laundry to be done.  Yet there is joy even …

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A thousand small ways

“When we are willing to be open-minded, art and beauty come flooding into us in a thousand small ways.”— Julia Cameron I tend to think of open-mindedness as a trait useful primarily to our rational minds, vital to the examination of ideas, cultures and opposing viewpoints.  Yet there are many ways our minds can be open rather …

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A light from the shadows

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring…”  — J.R.R. Tolkien These lines are from a poem I have loved for many years.  It appears in the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings, but its message has an enduring appeal whether or not one has read …

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To all of you

“I want to say to all of you that are reading this right now: You are not allowed to lose hope, because maybe a miracle will happen. DO NOT LOSE HOPE.” — Malka Chana Roth We interrupt these re-runs to bring you a new real time post. I started this blog seven and a half …

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This most amazing day

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — E. E. Cummings It’s a bit hard for me to imagine what it would be like living in a town …

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Poems by heart

“It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” — Rainer Maria Rilke I don’t consider myself a poet, but I do like to write poetry as well as read it.  When writing poems I have to curtail the number of words I use so that every single one has an …

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A Little Nonsense

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” — Joseph Addison Happy April Fool’s Day! Laughter is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves or others.  I hope you will indulge in some light-hearted fun today — look up a joke or two to share, sing silly songs, watch a …

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Born on his father’s birthday

“He was born on his father’s birthday, a gift that keeps on giving.” — George F. Will, writing about his eldest son Jon This month I pay tribute to the two men who, other than my husband, have had the most lasting influence in my life.  My father was born in April, and his first child …

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Somewhere it hides

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery Tucked away in the chilly magnificence of the Yukon, there lies a true curiosity of nature: the Carcross Desert.  At about one square mile, it is called the “world’s smallest desert” although it is actually a series of sand dunes left …

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The familiar exotic

“Make the familiar exotic; the exotic familiar.”  — Bharati Mukherjee I’m pretty good at making the exotic familiar, or at least trying.  When Jeff and I travel, we tend to avoid the tourist routes and go to places where the locals are: public transportation, grocery stores, municipal libraries.  The more intriguing a city is, the more I am determined …

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The size of the fight

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Mark Twain Our animal friends teach us many valuable lessons, but the trait I admire most in our little Schipperke, Pasha, is his fearless zest for life.  He apparently has never encountered a situation in which caution …

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Without rain

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” —  John Updike As I write this, it’s a rainy day outside with the chill of winter still hanging on.  There is an atmosphere of quiet gloom.  My moods are strongly influenced by the weather, so I really need …

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Something is afoot

“It is a bright and chill early spring day.  The air is crisp but the earth is insistent…The wind is stiff and needling.  It still feels like winter, but spring itself is positive and determined.  Something is afoot, and it is festive and uncontrollable and undeniable.” — Julia Cameron I’ve heard more than a little …

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Diligence and labor

“He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.” — Menander People often say that women marry their fathers, but in most ways I think I married my mother.  My husband is so like her, especially when it comes to enjoying work.  I like to joke that if …

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Yonder lies the way

“The hour is ripe, and yonder lies the way.” — Virgil In most ways I’m a cautious person.  I tend to fall into what a friend once described as “paralysis by analysis,” so fearful of making a mistake that I think and re-think decisions far too long.  This blog, however, was an exception that could …

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Adjust the sails

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” — attributed to Dolly Parton Thirty years ago Jeff and I went sailing on the Santa Monica Bay with my lifelong friend and her roommate.  It was my first time to go sailing, and I remember being surprised at how much physical work was involved.  I …

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Aware of the treasure

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall …

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The gladdest thing

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay Millay was one of the first poets whose work I loved, and I learned this verse as a girl.  I have said it silently to myself countless times over the years.  …

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Stronger than a fortified city

“Those bound in a fraternity of one mind stand stronger than a fortified city.” — Antisthenes Today is the first day of the 108th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, a commemoration of the friendship between the USA and Japan, symbolized by the 3000 trees given to us in 1912 by the Japanese people. …

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Not a harbor

“The past is a lighthouse, not a harbor.” — origin unknown Change can be difficult even for those of us who crave novelty.  It’s especially frightening when we are brought face-to-face with our own mortality, or that of someone we love.  If we have been blessed with happy memories to treasure, letting go can be …

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Represent civilization

“Be careful how you behave towards wild things – remember that, to them, you represent civilization.” —  Ashleigh Brilliant One of my favorite memories about my husband’s late father is the way he loved wildlife.  Many a summer’s evening I would be relaxing inside the Tennessee home where Jeff grew up, enjoying one of his …

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Memory is a child

“Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.” — Pierce Harris Memory is nothing if not selective in what it retains.  Hence five people may truthfully give five different accounts of the same event.  Yet some memories …

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Imagination will take you

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein Logic is important and even indispensable, but imagination is what gives life its brightest colors.  Often we equate imagination with fantasy and escapism, although its most common and useful purpose is to add flair to everyday life.  Think of …

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Always a frontier

“Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.” — Charles F. Kettering I admire the courage of those who venture into new territory.  From the explorers of ancient times up through the astronauts of today, we have always needed trailblazers who are willing to lead the way into an unknown future.  …

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