Tag Archives: awareness

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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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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It’s helpful to remember

“In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey Today’s post is dedicated to all of us who are FED UP with: 1. traffic, gas prices and ridiculous parking costs; 2. the hassles of air travel; 3. public bus or rail system problems; or …

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Every single day

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” — Jo Walton Have you ever been outside just as the sun was rising or setting, and thought to yourself that you should make it a point enjoy sunrise, or sunset, more often? So have I.  …

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When March is scarcely here

“A light exists in spring Not present on the year At any other period — When March is scarcely here.” — Emily Dickinson Along with a recent post about walking, I included a photograph of some trees in my neighborhood.  The photo above pictures those same trees during the all-too-brief period of their flowering, usually …

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Give thanks

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”  — Tecumseh Long before we had any idea Jeff was sick, we planned a …

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Welcomed and recorded

“Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid” — Henry David Thoreau For me, writing is an effective way to train my thinking.  I find that most people give more thought to what they write than to what they say, and this may …

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The unceasing effort

“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers– and never succeeding.” — Gian Carlo Menotti Humans can create stunning works of art, but the best of these only imitate, echo, enhance or complement the beauty found in nature.  Art is usually made, at least in part, from materials found in the …

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There will be times

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.” — Anton Chekhov Even when the trees appear to be bare, there is a lot happening underground.  A gardener once explained to me that fall is the best …

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How we remember

“How we remember, what we remember and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.” — Christina Baldwin Among the countless ways my sister has blessed my life, one comes to mind often: she read to me and taught me to read.  Over fifty years later, I have wonderful memories of the …

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All sorts of folks

“I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take …

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Mad with joy

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  — Iris Murdoch Go a little mad with joy today.  Visit a florist  or plant nursery, or just the floral department of a grocery store, and take a few minutes to see– …

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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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