Tag Archives: resilience

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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Perhaps the greater

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien Let’s just say it had been one of those days. Following one of those weeks. …

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Hard to imagine

“Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into …

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We’re a parade

“Friends: we’re a parade – even by ourselves!” – Mary Anne Radmacher Pictured above are three people whose presence in my life is a tremendous blessing. Without going into the details, let’s just say that without friends and loved ones, life is unbearable. But with them, it can be a celebration, even in the midst …

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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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To look forward

“I didn’t have particular baseball heroes in those days…I didn’t relate to baseball players, even though I played the game myself, because I knew I had nothing to look forward to. There was no hope for me to play in the big leagues back then because I was black.” — Hank Aaron Wow. Talk about defeating …

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The garden of the spirit

“The ground I tend sustains me in early summer, but the garden of the spirit is the place I go when the wind howls…Raised in the mind’s eye, nurtured by the faithful composting of orange rinds and tea leaves and ideas, it is finally the wintergarden that produces the true flowering, the saving vision.” — Louise …

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The bigger, more beautiful picture

“When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.  We get to remind one another about the bigger, more beautiful picture that we can’t always see from where we are.”– Shauna Niequist Okay, so imagine you are traveling across several states to northern Virginia, …

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A sunny spirit (2017)

“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 Dear friends, I thank you for your patience and your kind comments– which I look forward to answering as soon as I can catch my …

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Ways of healing

“A woman’s heart always breaks a little in the spring. But spring offers its own ways of healing. Hoe the row a little deeper. Kneel on the ground and dig the roots.” – Marjorie Holmes Even when the heartbreak is more than just a little, spring does offer a degree of healing, however inadequate it may …

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The tiniest fragments

“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.” ― Melina Marchetta “The NPS said that about 50 percent of the cherry blossoms survived, but now that we can see the flowers coming out it looks like that is …

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A pretty good diet

“I am living on hope and faith…a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson It’s interesting that a poet of Robinson’s stature, who penned the devastatingly powerful “Richard Cory,” would describe himself as living on hope and faith. Such somber work does not seem consistent with what we think …

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We conquer

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” — Edmund Hillary Hillary makes an excellent point. The mountain can’t be conquered by any person. But its magnificent, inevitable presence can be a venue for the building of skill, courage and resilience. It’s not surprising that mountains have become a favorite metaphor for the challenges of daily living. …

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Much is taken, much abides

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” — …

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The stormy present

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” — Abraham Lincoln, in his Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862 In the years I’ve …

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In the noise and whip

…It is lonesome, yes.  For we are the last of the loud. Nevertheless, live. Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind. – Gwendolyn Brooks This post is for anyone who has ever felt alone in a crowd. It’s for anyone who speaks in a voice trembling with grief or rage, while hearing …

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Only one thing to do

“We are so outnumbered there’s only one thing to do. We must attack.” — Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham Admiral Cunningham spoke these words before the Battle of Taranto, in which a small number of obsolete planes (the Fairey Swordfish biplanes) conquered a mighty fleet of ships and ushered in the ascendancy of naval aviation.  I loved this quote the first time …

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Only an adventure

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” ― G.K. Chesterton I must admit, it’s a bit of a stretch for me to consider most of what we call inconveniences as adventures.  Being stuck in traffic?  Waiting two hours for a doctors appointment?  Having a flight cancelled …

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In spite of all

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968 Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and …

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A story

“You have a story.  It doesn’t have you.” — Mark Brunetz At year’s end, we often take stock of the past twelve months, and this can lead us into contemplation about past years.  For many of us 2015 has been more remarkable for its difficulties than for its successes or gifts.  Come to think of it, …

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Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

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Come as children

O men, grown sick with toil and care, Leave for awhile the crowded mart; O women, sinking with despair, Weary of limb and faint of heart, Forget your years to-day and come As children back to childhood’s house.   — Phoebe Cary Today I invite you to set aside a few moments for remembering what it …

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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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