Tag Archives: resilience

Deep roots

“The old that is strong does not wither.  Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien I quoted from this poem in an earlier post, but recently its timeless words have been on my mind again.  I was reminded of these particular lines by the daffodils in my yard. Daffodils …

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The human story

“The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.” — …

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Tough as nails

“Love is not warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. Real love is tough as nails. It’s having your heart ripped out, putting it back together, and the next day, offering it back to the same world that just tore it up.” – Glennon Doyle Melton Very few writers are able to cut through the …

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Know who you are

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou Nobody likes to lose.  Loss hurts, sometimes irrevocably.  But there are …

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Be the navigator

“Time flies.  It’s up to you to be the navigator.” — Robert Orben Though our circumstances differ, and some of us have more opportunities than others, each of us has the power to determine how we will react to the externals we cannot control.  We plan our lives much as a navigator plots a course …

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No way to say no

And it’s going to be a day There is really no way to say no to the morning Yes it’s going to be a day There is really nothing left to say But come on morning    — Dan Fogelberg This verse is from  “To the Morning,” the first Dan Fogelberg song I ever loved, recorded …

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The key to failure

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” ― Bill Cosby “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.” ― Earl Warren There’s a very real difference between showing courtesy and respect to people with opposing views, versus compromising or hiding …

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The everyday struggle

“One wrestles with one’s dragons until the end of one’s life — it is a constant and eternal process.  The crises in one’s life only show up in intensity what is going on every day.  The crises are there, perhaps in order to illuminate the everyday struggle…so that one may be better prepared to fight, …

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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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A sunny spirit

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain Of all the things that have helped us survive the past thirty years, and even before that, I would have to say that humor is …

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To look forward

We interrupt these regularly scheduled repeat postings to bring you a tribute I published here back in 2017. Rest in peace, Mr. Aaron. Unlike so many tarnished sports heroes, your legacy will always shine. We will always remember you. “I didn’t have particular baseball heroes in those days…I didn’t relate to baseball players, even though …

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Your own kind of music

“You’ve gotta make your own kind of music Sing your own special song Make your own kind of music Even if nobody else sings along.” — Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil This 1969 hit is a favorite of mine, as recorded by one of my all-time favorite vocalists, Mama Cass Elliot.  I play this song …

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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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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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Alterations

“Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.”  —  Faith Baldwin I imagine most of you remember Scarlett O’Hara’s reinvention of her parlor curtains, as well as Carol Burnett’s hilarious parody of it.  I admired Scarlett’s ability to work with whatever she had, which often wasn’t very much.   In our era, when new clothing is relatively easy …

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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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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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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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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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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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Perfect Picture

“I’d started playing another game, one I kept a secret…I called it the Perfect Picture game.  The goal was to find snapshot-sized scenes in my town that showed absolutely no sign of Katrina.  The game had been especially challenging right after the storm.  Broken limbs, torn streets, and mangled houses relentlessly assaulted the eyes.  With the …

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Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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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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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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You never know

“…you’re not the only one who feels like you don’t belong, or that it’s better somewhere else. But there ARE things worth living for.  And the best part is you never know what’s going to happen next.” ― O.R. Melling Recently I was flying out of DCA to attend the memorial service for Tuffy, about whom I …

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