Tag Archives: awareness

Practices that sustain life

“After a day of too much information about almost everything, there is such a blessed relief in the weight of wet clothes, causing the wicker basket to creak as I carry it out to the clothesline.  Every time I bend down to shake loose a piece of laundry, I smell the grass. I smell the …

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Wonders of everyday life

“Remember, looking at bad news doesn’t mean good news isn’t happening. It’s happening everywhere. It’s happening right now. Around the world. In hospitals, at weddings, in schools and offices and maternity wards, at airport arrival gates, in bedrooms, in inboxes, out in the street, in the kind smile of a stranger. A billion unseen wonders …

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Tiny, beautiful surprises

“For me, the first part of celebration is noticing.  I find that it’s easy for me to get stuck in what’s broken or wrong with a situation, instead of seeing the beautiful parts of it, too, or that I move so fast I don’t see anything at all.  These days I’m trying to notice everything, …

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Our due as humans

“Whereas 19th-century Americans perceived limits on how many people they could know, how much they should self-promote, how much excitement they should expect, 21st-century Americans are coming to expect that endless affirmation, unfettered anger, infinite cognitive power, unending entertainment, and constant companionship are our due as humans.”— Susan J. Matt This is one of those …

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Never done with looking

“There are things you can’t reach. But You can reach out to them, and all day long. …I look; morning to night I am never done with looking…”  — Mary Oliver What do you see in the photo above? A fountain, of course, and if you’ve ever been to Savannah, Georgia, you probably recognize it …

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A powerful call

“…we’ve found that optimism can be a powerful call to action. And it has a multiplier effect: The more optimists there are working for a better future, the more reasons there are to be optimistic.” – Bill and Melinda Gates One of the most pernicious aspects of despair is that it snuffs out the motivation …

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To trade places

“Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday, or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at …

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Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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A wonderful thing

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire The sixth anniversary of this blog passed recently, without mention by me or anyone else. The giddy hope that inspired a feeling of celebration on the first and second anniversaries gave way to reality, although I did recognize …

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Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

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Singularly moved

I, singularly moved To love the lovely that are not beloved, Of all the seasons most Love winter. – Coventry Patmore If you read the comments section, you may recall that I mentioned this verse to Marlene when she said she loved winter. This is the post I told her I would write for her. …

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My state of general wonder

“Not until years later would I realize that my state of general wonder throughout this process, peppered though it was with fear and doubt, would help preserve my sanity through the events that followed.” — Hilary Tindle Sometimes I will hear or read a sentence that rings so true in my own experience that I …

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Just before you

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the …

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An enduring savor

“If I summon up those memories that have left me with an enduring savor, if I draw up the balance sheet of the hours in my life that have truly counted, surely I find only those that no wealth could have procured me.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Most likely, today will seem like just another …

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True and appropriate

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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How else

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone…” — Vita Sackville-West I agree with Sackville-West that writing enables us to capture …

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Wonderful, magical and more

“This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.” — Thomas Carlyle One of the surest ways to defeat despair is to stop and experience something totally amazing. A star-studded sky at night or a sparkling sunlit ocean are obvious choices, but …

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Where there is joy

“Find a place where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” — Joseph Campbell What brings you joy? For most of us, there are many answers to that question, and some of us are fortunate enough to discover new joys daily. Perhaps the surest way to survive despair is to grasp …

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Not so poor

“Grace is not so poor a thing that it cannot present itself in any number of ways.” – Marilynne Robinson Have you ever gone into Target or Macy’s or Piggly Wiggly with one particular purchase in mind, and been distracted by so many other fun or pretty or tasty things that you bought more than …

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A sentinel all around

“…if we starve ourselves of mental junk and replace it with what is true, admirable, right, pure, beautiful, and attractive, peace will stand as a sentinel all around our feelings and thoughts, creating an impregnable fortress of calm and tranquility.” — David Murray Could you use some calm and tranquility right now? I know I …

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The world is full

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”  — W. B. Yeats Awhile back we had an interesting discussion with Boomdee in the comments after she mentioned the rabbits in her world changing colors with the seasons. Until then, I didn’t know about the Snowshoe Hare, which turns white …

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It really is

“Life is like a flower. You don’t realize how beautiful it really is until you take a closer look.” — Ash Sweeney I wasn’t able to find out anything much about Ash Sweeney other than endless web pages citing quotes from him (or her) such as this one.  Perhaps Sweeney is a robot, or a pen …

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Making life more bearable

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow…” — Kurt Vonnegut “What is the purpose of your blog?”  That’s a question others have asked occasionally …

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Break the habit

“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.  Break the habit.  Talk about your joys.” — Rita Schiano Right now I could sit here and go on for hours about the cares that I am facing– which include deep sorrows, minor annoyances, and the entire spectrum of trials that lie in between. I’m almost certain you …

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