Tag Archives: serenity

Simple, natural, plain

“Enjoy the simple, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.” — Benjamin Hoff I love decoration.  From Baroque music to Victorian architecture to everyday frills and fancies, I am drawn to intricate patterns and abundant color.  I have to admit, though, that there …

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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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The last refuge

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” — Oscar Wilde I know very few people who do not lead complex lives, and most of us yearn for simplicity.  Yet the complexity is also a blessing; a rich fabric woven with countless threads that add color, durability or utility.  Thus I …

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Patience and faith

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient… Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh Few women of any generation could claim a life as full of adventure, triumph and tragedy as Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Yet her concerns were similar to …

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Observing the effects

“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.” — Bertrand Russell What we see and experience changes us forever.  This is one reason it’s so important to feed our minds and senses with a healthy …

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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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From the insistence

“Much of the bothersomeness of daily life arises not from circumstances themselves, but from the insistence that they ought to be other than they are.” – Oliver Burkeman When I read that quote, I was struck immediately with how truly it describes most of the stress I face each day. As far back as I …

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Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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If you can wait

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…  — Rudyard Kipling If I had to name my top five favorite poems, “If” by Kipling would definitely make …

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The fog of the future

“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.” – Elisabeth Elliot I’ve heard it said that anger is really fear in disguise, and I’ve seen …

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Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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An obscure comfort

“It comforted her, in the confused unhappy welter of her emotions, to see the mountains always tranquil, remote, in their lonely splendour; untouchable, serenely inviolate. It was an obscure comfort to her to know that man’s hectic world wasn’t the only one — that there were others, where agitation and passion and bewilderment had no …

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A thin stream of fear

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” — Arthur Somers Roche Waterfalls start out a lot smaller and more quiet than they end up. If you’ve ever stood at the foot of a fairly large waterfall, you know the …

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On foot

“Sickness comes on horseback, but goes away on foot.” — William Carew Hazlitt Seemingly out of nowhere, it hits– the devastating diagnosis, or the catastrophic accident, or the debilitating chronic pain– shattering the life of a loved one, or self.  Life changes– sometimes forever. We feel blindsided, helpless, resentful, afraid.  But somehow, we keep going. …

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Slowing down

“…in a day when doing something as soon as possible is the standard response to perceived problems, slowing down may be the best way to move ahead.” — Mark A. Noll Sometimes, action is urgently needed and haste is imperative.  However, I suspect that most of the urgency we feel about everyday stresses and conflicts …

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Great acceptances

“Contentment, and indeed usefulness, comes as the infallible result of great acceptances, great humilities—of not trying to make ourselves this or that, but of surrendering ourselves to the fullness of life—of letting life flow through us.” — David Grayson I couldn’t help but find some comic relief in what I learned when I looked up the …

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Water always goes

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it…If you can’t go through an obstacle, go …

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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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Greatness in small things

“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things.” — Muriel Barbery Okay, so it’s now definitely winter– if you’re very far north of the tropics, that is.  Despite the deceptively warm days of this past December, cold weather will be our frequent companion for …

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Natural relief

“…if [cats] are content, their contentment is absolute; and our jaded and wearied spirits find a natural relief in the sight…” — Agnes Repplier What animal comes to mind when you hear these words: relaxed, languid, graceful, calm, serene?  For me, it’s always a cat. I’m a dog person through and through. I identify with …

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The quiet of power

…slow things are beautiful: The closing of day, The pause of the wave That curves downward to spray, The ember that crumbles, The opening flower, And the ox that moves on In the quiet of power.    – Elizabeth Coatsworth Recently I read a book that discussed the pervasive effects of technology on how we …

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Ashore

The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be— The water comes ashore, And the people look at the sea.  — Robert Frost I haven’t been to the seashore in awhile, and I’m missing it.  Carla, Matt and I enjoyed a late breakfast at the Belvedere recently, but we didn’t have enough time …

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Always in the midst

“It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Using Drew’s phone, I took this photo of Matt, Drew and Carla on Thanksgiving Day of last year.  We were awaiting a pizza that was being prepared as the last order of the evening at …

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Museums, formed from the heart

“In poetically well built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.”— Orhan Pamuk On a recent day while Matt was at camp, Jeff took a day off from work and we went to the National Gallery …

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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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