Tag Archives: endurance

The meaning of immortality

“The wise understand the meaning of immortality, and do not seek the never-changing in the transient.” — Upanishads No small part of my sorrow in life comes from my abiding difficulty in accepting that nothing on this earth will last forever.  This reluctance to let go encompasses the entire spectrum of my life, from a …

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Carried on great winds

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky.”― Ojibwe dream song No matter how often I remind myself that despondency always passes, I have a remarkably hard time being the least bit optimistic when I am feeling low.  I can know and remember …

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Many ports

“There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful.” ― Fernando Pessoa Sea voyages make good metaphors for life, because they encompass the adventure, daring, uncertainty, beauty and danger that are part of living.  It might be easy to dream of a journey as a means …

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Different kinds of weather

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” — Mark Twain Until this year, I might have accused Twain of exaggerating with this statement.  Now? Maybe not. It’s easy to forget that last spring seemed equally erratic at the time.  I was searching …

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Up and doing

Let us, then, be up and doing,With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,Learn to labor and to wait. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow If a few short words could sum up the past 18 months of Jeff’s life, it would be hard to find any more appropriate than these.  The photo above was …

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Blessed thought

“He leadeth me:  O blessed thought!  O words with heavenly comfort fraught!  Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.” — Joseph H. Gilmore This old hymn, which its author said was written during “the darkest hour of the Civil War,” has always been a favorite of mine.  I have …

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Renewed day by day

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV The barren winter landscape, even when accented with snow, is a stark and sometimes sad contrast to the lush flowering of just six months prior.  Yet underground, much is going …

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Despite overwhelming odds

“We salute the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who inspire us still.  Despite overwhelming odds, they fought back heroically, inspiring our nation and putting us on the path to victory.  They are members of that Greatest Generation who overcame the Depression, crossed oceans and stormed the beaches to defeat fascism, and turned adversaries into …

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No greater challenge

“There is no greater challenge to statesmanship than to find a way that such sacrifices as this statue represents are not necessary in the future.” — Richard M. Nixon, referring to the U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial Anyone who has been through cancer treatment knows that war is a very good metaphor for the …

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Out of suffering

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran This photo is rather odd, but it seems fitting as a symbol for where Jeff is now, on his 55th birthday. He’s in a place of past nightmares and trauma, somehow surviving (thus far) life-threatening complications …

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A hope

“Grieve in places the world does not forgive.  Rejoice in places the world does not notice.  Live with a patience that the culture cannot sustain, and a hope that the world cannot imagine.” – Krista Tippett Thanks to all who visit this site, and  especially to all of you who have grieved, rejoiced, and hoped …

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Not destroyed

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV) It’s a bit frightening, being this close to the edge of suffering and death.  It’s not territory we chose to explore, but even from here, the view …

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History that teaches

“The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It …

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The maxim of the British

“The maxim of the British people is ‘Business as usual.’” — Winston Churchill This quote, and the photo posted above, capture one reason why I love being in England.  I must not be the only one, because the now-ubiquitous, quintessentially British wartime quote “Keep Calm and Carry On” has been revived and printed on all …

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The inspiring force

“I was carried beyond myself by the inspiring force of urgent necessity.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry If you’ve been through anything especially difficult, harrowing or protracted and exhausting, chances are you’ve heard well-meaning people say “I don’t know how you do it” or “I could never do what you are doing.” It’s natural for them to feel that …

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The gift of crisis

“You have been offered the gift of crisis.  As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is “to sift,” as in to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important.  That’s what crises do.  They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most.” …

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Connected to something bigger

“When everything around you is changing, turn to the part of you that doesn’t change, that is calm, centered, and connected to something bigger.”  — Ariane de Bonvoisin Churchgoing people are accustomed to hearing various metaphors for faith.  It’s spoken of as an anchor, a rock, a fortress, and a shield.  It’s described as “the substance of things …

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When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

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A friend who cares

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen …

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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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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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Hidden inside

“Sometimes what you want is hidden inside what you don’t want.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Just as the prickly cactus produces beautiful blooms, so harsh circumstances can result in positive change and growth.  This does not negate the pain of grief and loss, but it does provide a way through darkness.  Christians believe “in all things …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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You won’t be the same

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what …

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Our old home life

“I was never before so eager to cling to every bit of our old home life and to see you…Come and see me, I am homesick…” — C. S. Lewis Today is my 900th regular post, so I hope you will bear with me as I try something a little bit different. I’m bringing you …

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